amber alert 911

Police are now charging people who call 911 to complain about Amber Alerts

Ask and you shall (sometimes) receive, angry internet people.

A 70-year-old Hamilton man has become the first known Ontario resident to be formally charged by police for calling 911 to complain about an Amber Alert. 

Douglas Bagshaw was charged with mischief, according to Hamilton Police, after repeatedly calling 911 on Tuesday evening when an Amber Alert was issued for five missing children from the Niagara region.

"At 5:04 p.m. on October 1, 2019, Hamilton Police received a 911 call from a male who stated that he did not have an emergency and was calling 911 to purposely tie up emergency lines," reads a statement released by police in Hamilton on Thursday.

"The male was angry about receiving the Amber Alert on his phone since he was trying to rest. He indicated he would continue to call in response to the ongoing alert."

Fortunately, the five missing siblings were found safe with their father on Wednesday — as a direct result of the Amber Alert, mind you.

Bagshaw is the only person we know of so far to have been charged for misusing 911, but he's far from the only person to call emergency responders and complain about recieving an Amber Alert on Tuesday evening.

"ATTENTION: The Toronto Police have been receiving calls from the public complaining about the Amber Alert," wrote Toronto Police Service media relations officer Alex Li in a statement that same night.

"Please do NOT call police to complain, instead find compassion and have the understanding to help locate these children!" Li warned. "Amber Alerts are issued for a reason."

Lead photo by

Hamilton Police


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Evergreen Brick Works is an old Toronto brick factory turned nature escape

Toronto is shutting down popular outdoor trail this summer for major upgrades

The history of what was once Toronto's grandest mansion

Toronto police busted more illegal gatherings this week than ever before

Amazon cancels Prime Day in Canada due to COVID and people have thoughts

TTC worries work-from-home trend will keep ridership way down for good

Toronto says it won't be cracking down on illegal drinking in parks this summer

Ontario vet fires employees for making injured cat dance in TikTok video