NYPD: Teen Used Cell Phone Trick to Trigger Turnpike 911 Hoax [Audio]
Police prepare enter a home and arrest Rodney Tanzymore in Queens, N.Y. Tanzymore is accused of making a false 911 call that resulted in NJ State Police pulling over a van on the N.J. Turnpike. [John O'Boyle | AP]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
February 23, 2010
NEW YORK – The call was coming from inside the van.
In a surprise twist to a controversial New Jersey Turnpike traffic stop, police Monday arrested a Queens teen they say made a hoax 911 call from inside the van they pulled over.
Rodney Tanzymore, 19, was one of a group of 11 black and Hispanic Queens students on an overnight trip who were pulled over, handcuffed and searched at gunpoint last November.
New Jersey State Police were quickly accused of racial profiling.
The cops said they were responding to a 911 call alleging three men on the bus had brandished guns at the Woodrow Wilson rest stop in Hamilton Township.
The caller gave a full description of the van, including the license plate.
Now it appears it was one of the victims of who made the call.
Tanzymore was arrested Monday morning at his St. Albans home and charged with causing a false public alarm.
The group of teens with Safe Space NYC was coming home from an overnight trip to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 21 when cops say he reported his own vehicle.
In a recording released by police, the 911 caller – who was first connected to local police and waited patiently as he was transferred to State Police – identifies himself as David Smith.
“Three men just hopped out of a black truck with, uh, guns. It’s a Mercedes Benz,” the caller says. “It’s like a van, like a passenger van, like a tour bus kind of sort of thing.”
Asked for the plate number, he recited it.
The caller, who did not seem hurried, described the gunmen as two black men, one in a striped jacket and one in a black hoodie, and a white man in a grey sweatshirt.
The van was stopped minutes later in a flurry of roadside drama by 10 police cars and a police helicopter. No guns were found.