Police file lawsuit against prank caller
Seeking 13 mil. won compensation
By Kim Bo-eun
Police filed a compensation suit for 13.8 million won ($12,563) Thursday against a man for making a prank call to the 112 Crime Report Center.
The suit was filed against the 21-year-old office worker surnamed Kim to the Anyang branch of the Suwon District Court. It demanded he pay for the expenses incurred for the mobilization of police forces as well as for psychological damage.
The plaintiffs are the government and the 50 policemen called to action at the time.
“The prank call to the 112 Crime Report Center caused a tremendous waste of manpower,” said an officer at the police station in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province.
Kim had called 112 from a payphone in Manan-gu, Anyang, at around 8 p.m. on April 18, falsely claiming that a stranger had locked him up in a black passenger car.
The police had immediately called an emergency meeting and even called some off-duty officers. The policemen who were mobilized to the site examined footage on a surveillance camera nearby the payphone and started investigating but were unable to find any witnesses.
They caught Kim two hours later.
“I wanted to get back at the police for making me pay a fine for a theft last November,” he confessed.
The lawsuit comes amid public outcry for a horrendous rape-murder of a young woman by a Korean-Chinese man in Suwon that broke out April 1 due to police’s slow reaction to her 112 emergency call for help.
The increasing number of prank calls following the case, especially in Gyeonggi Province, has been a troubling issue for the police.
Police blamed prank calls as a factor in the slow response to the victim’s call in the Suwon murder case.
Although there is a jail sentence for prank calls, most cases just end by having the culprit pay a fine of 100,000 won ($91) or less.
“The decision was made, as we felt it was necessary to more harshly punish prank calls in order to deter them,” an investigator said.
Possibly filing for compensation for making a prank call had previously been discussed but this is the first time an actual lawsuit has been filed.