HUH? Man calls 9-1-1 more than 4,000 times, then gets rewarded

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SALT LAKE CITY — Emergency dispatchers were upset after a man called 9-1-1 more than 4,000 times in just a week.

So police tracked the man down, but he wasn’t what they expected.

“We found out it was somebody with a disability who was just trying to listen to music,” dispatcher Kari Bueno told KSL. “There was no intent to call 911.”

David VanBibber, 30, 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 the family didn’t realize that all cell phones can still call 9-1-1 even without a service plan.  He was accidentally calling while trying to listen to music.

The cell phone had to be taken away from David, so he couldn’t accidentally make any more 9-1-1 calls.

But music is a big part of David’s life.

“It creates a lot of solace for him,” his father, Steven VanBibber, told KSL.

The 9-1-1 operators felt bad about taking away his access to music, so they invited David and his family to the Emergency Communications Center. They gave him an iPod Nano and a $100 iTunes gift card.

“You’re awesome,” he told the dispatchers.

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