Portland man who allegedly reported false shooting winds up under arrest

Posted Jan. 10, 2013, at 12:57 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland man who reported that a shooting had occurred wound up going to jail when police discovered no such incident took place.

Jermaine Hill, who told dispatch his name was Thomas Hill when he dialed 911, is facing a charge of filing a false police report, a Class D misdemeanor, Portland police Lt. Scott Pelletier said.

Hill allegedly called dispatch 20 minutes after midnight Thursday, claiming he had witnessed a shooting at the intersection of Cumberland Avenue and Wilmont Street, Pelletier said.

Hill had said a person had been shot in the abdomen and was bleeding badly while the shooter had fled into the night, which prompted 10 police officers and medical personnel to respond to the area.

When police arrived, no victim was found, Pelletier said. Dispatch informed officers that the call was coming from Monument Square, two blocks from the intersection, and when police went there, they found Hill, still on the phone with dispatch.

Hill initially denied calling 911, but when dispatch called his phone, it started ringing as police were interviewing him, according to Pelletier. He later claimed a man named Thomas Hill borrowed his phone and fled, but his voice matched those on the 911 recordings.

Hill was subsequently arrested and brought to Cumberland County Jail.

“The fact that he reported a shooting, with that many officers being tied up as well as the rescue it’s a pretty dangerous situation,” Pelletier said.

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