911 dispatchers reward man who called over 4,000 times

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Police in Salt Lake City, Utah, tracked down a man who called 911 over 4,000 times in one week. But instead of punishing him, they gave him an early Christmas gift.

Emergency dispatcher Kari Bueno told KSL-TV that the calls were made by 30-year-old David VanBibber, who has a mental disability. His family says he functions on the level of an 8-year-old.

David was given an old disconnected cell phone to listen to music, but all cell phones can still call 911 even without a service plan. He was accidentally calling 911 while trying to listen to music.

VanBibber’s cell phone was taken away, but the once-frustrated 911 dispatchers felt bad, especially since music is such a big part of David’s life.

So they decided to raise money to buy David an iPod Nano and a $100 iTunes gift certificate. They even invited David and his family to the Emergency Communications Center to give it to him in person.

“That they would honor my son for his disruption to such an important service, to be here today and to feel this outpouring for my son … is just really touching as a parent. (I’m) just grateful for this,” said David’s father Steven VanBibber.

David told the 911 operators, “You’re awesome.” He then told everyone “Merry Christmas,” before leaving.

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