Police: Drunken Tarentum man's calls for help were fake
A number of police and emergency service agencies spent roughly two hours Thursday searching for a Tarentum man who told 911 he was hurt and bleeding in the Park Plan section of Harrison.
It turns out the man, David Thimons, 49, wasn't hurt at all, Harrison police Sgt. Brian Turack said.
“He's not injured,” Turack said.
Thimons told dispatchers he “fell over a hill,” according to Turack.
“He said he was near the power lines near Bull Creek Road. He said there was a (leg) bone sticking out, and he's bleeding, and he feels like he is going to faint. He had to hang up the phone so he could take care of the bleeding.”
Thimons faces seven charges in connection to the incident, among them false alarm to agency of public safety, criminal mischief, false reports to law enforcement, obstructing emergency services, public drunkenness and tampering with evidence.
The incident was reported shortly after 12:30 p.m. at Pleasant Avenue at Route 366, also known as Jobe's Hole, Turack said. The site is in a ravine near where Harrison, Tarentum and Fawn meet.
Turack said police officers from Harrison, Tarentum, Brackenridge and Fawn responded, as well as crews from Eureka Fire Rescue EMS out of Tarentum and Citizens Hose in Harrison.
A state police helicopter and an ATV unit out of Plum were also called, he said.
“We began checking the wooded area for this male,” Turack said. “We had fire trucks — like rescue trucks, ambulances. We had two ATV units there.”
He said county dispatchers called Thimons back, and Thimons told them: “Yes, indeed he was bleeding,” Turack said.
“He thought he could get out on his own,” Turack said. “His bone was broken.”
The sergeant said the search was called off around 2:30 p.m., the same time one of the rescue units saw Thimons walking through the woods and back toward his vehicle, which was parked behind Trinity United Methodist Church in Brackenridge.
“We had set up a command post at his vehicle,” Turack said. “He came out of the woods. No injuries. Odor of alcohol on his breath, slurring his speech, and denied ever calling 911.”
Turack said a Tarentum police officer found Thimons' phone in the woods. He said police listened to the calls Thimons had made, and he was taken into custody.
Turack said the incident diverted emergency services from other calls.
“We had pending 911 calls since, probably, noon about other medical incidents — things going on in the Valley, but our resources were all tied up due to this,” Turack said.
“If you make a statement to 911, we believe that. We'll request and provide the resources necessary to assist somebody.”