Great Barrington man arrested for allegedly sending fake emergency dispatches
LITCHFIELD, Conn. -- A 35-year-old Great Barrington man has been charged with making several fake radio transmissions on the Litchfield County Dispatch frequency, state police said in a release.
Adam Perelli was arrested Friday in Pittsfield and charged with first-degree reporting a false incident, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree computer crime (interruption of computer service), interfering with an officer and tampering with physical evidence.
The unauthorized broadcasts interfered with and interrupted calls for service for both ambulance and fire departments during the period from Dec. 25, 2013 to Jan. 6, 2014. The calls dispatched ambulances to fake calls and canceled firefighters en route to actual emergencies.
The calls hit towers around the Northwest corner of the state. The man identified himself as "Watertown Car 1," and later "Engine 3" during one call, and "Sharon Car 2," on another call. Police said his calls were easy to discern because of the poor audio.
Police believe the calls were made on either a lost or stolen portable radio or a programmable transceiver type electronic device.
Litchfield County Dispatch reported the fake calls to state police and the investigation was handled by detectives from the Western District Major Crime Squad. Copies of the radio transmissions were seized by detectives, and later distributed to the media, which assisted in the investigation by releasing the audio recordings of four of the transmissions.
"That distribution assistance by the media led to several leads being developed by detectives and many leads were a direct result of the public being made aware of the incident and coming forward with information," state police said in the release.
The detectives followed leads and cooperated with the Massachusetts State Police for further investigation.
Perrelli was arrested on a warrant by Pittsfield police and arraigned in Massachusetts court on Friday. He waived his right to an extradition hearing and was turned over to Connecticut detectives.
Perrelli is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Bantam today. He is being held on $150,000 bail.
State police are continuing the investigation and said additional arrests are possible.
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