Austin man calls 911 nine times, wanted to get out of rain

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A man got his wish and was taken to jail, after he called 911 nine times in a matter of hours.

Austin police said in court documents Harry Chang repeatedly dialed 911 and hung up from a phone near Ed Bluestein Blvd. and Loyola Lane on Friday.

All of the calls came between 9:36 a.m. and 11:26 a.m. Friday. When an officer asked to the caller, Chang said he wanted to go to jail.

It was raining out, and according to Chang, he had nowhere else to go. The officer offered to take Chang to the ARCH homeless shelter or to Psychiatric Emergency Services. Chang said he did not want to go to either location.

While the officer warned Chang to only call 911 in emergencies, records show Chang was booked into the Travis County Jail on Friday. He has yet to post the $3,000 bond needed to be released.

Abusing the 911 system is a Class B Misdemeanor which can be punished by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

In-Depth: Mental health care at the Travis County Jail

In January, officials from the Travis County Sheriff’s Department told county commissioners they are facing the mental health crisis head on.

The jail is the largest provider of mental healthcare in the county.

In less than ten years, jail statistics show the number of people being treated for mental health issues has gone from 250 per month to 650. As a result the Travis County Jail has more beds set aside for mental health services than the state hospital.

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