PLYMOUTH TWP. — A volunteer firefighter from Nanticoke has been charged with making false alarm calls over a several week period.
State police at Wyoming allege that Lee Anthony Beatty, 50, of North Walnut Street, made three calls to Luzerne County 911 in a six-week period reporting vehicle fires or crashes to which Plymouth Township Fire & Rescue responded.
According to court papers, 911 Director Dave Parsnick reported on Feb. 8 that the agency received false calls placed from a phone booth at the Sunoco service station on Route 11 in West Nanticoke reporting:
• a multi-vehicle crash between a diner and drive-in at 8:46 p.m. Dec. 31.
• a vehicle off the road, possibly in the river, at 7:31 p.m. Jan. 11.
• a truck fire in front of the diner at 3:40 a.m. Feb. 7.
Fire Chief John Rinehimer told police that whoever made the calls put firefighters in serious jeopardy, especially on the night of the river rescue.
Investigating Trooper Lisa Brogan obtained video surveillance footage, and fire company personnel identified the person making one of the calls as Beatty. They said Beatty had been with the department for two years as a driver and that Beatty had some “personal issues” with Deputy Chief Barry Lore.
Confronted with still photos at the fire station and asked “why he did it,” Beatty told Brogan he “acted out of stupidity and boredom” and “has no other life than here with the fire department.” He also stated he didn’t think anyone would get hurt, that he was only thinking of himself and that he does not understand why he did what he did, according to court papers.
Beatty was charged with three counts each of making false alarms to agencies of public safety and recklessly endangering another person.