Just before midnight last night, an Uptown resident received a frantic text message from her friend: He had just been hit by a car and had fallen into Turtle Creek. He didn't think he was going to make it.
The friend immediately called police, who dispatched several units to canvass the creek, calling out a DPD helicopter and two search-and-rescue dogs to aide the search. The friend tried to call his cell phone, but the calls all went to voicemail. The search came up empty.
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While they were poking around the creek, there was another 911 call, this one from the supposed victim himself. He'd been hit by a car, he told the call taker, but he was at the Knox Street Starbuck's, a half mile east of the waterway, not in the creek itself.
It just so happened that an undercover DPD officer was at that Starbuck's when the call came in. He saw no one who looked like they'd been hit by a car, nor did the officers who arrived a few moments later.
The 39-year-old, whose name isn't being released because he hasn't been arrested, still wasn't answering his phone as police tried to contact him, but he did sent repeated text messages to the friend saying he was okay.
It was then that police concluded what they'd been suspecting: The man hadn't been hit by a car, and his pleas for help and 911 call had been fake. The latter is, of course, a crime. In Texas, it's a class B misdemeanor carrying a maximum six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.