GRAND ISLAND — A 60-year-old Grand Island man, Charles Cloud, was arrested Saturday night after falsely reporting to police that he had been shot and then assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest.
The incident took place at 10:32 p.m. when Cloud contacted a resident at 528 Waldo Ave. that he had been shot and needed help. When police arrived at the address, Cloud told officers that he hadn’t been shot but only reported that so he could get the police to come and help him with his vehicle.
According to Capt. Jim Duering of the Grand Island Police Department, Cloud’s vehicle had quit running, which prompted him to call the police for help.
When police went to arrest Cloud for false reporting, it was reported that he “physically pulled away and resisted arrest, and he delivered a deliberate knee strike to an officer’s leg.”
Cloud was arrested for false reporting, third-degree assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
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“In the vein of selfishness and putting the public at risk, this is a pretty bad deal,” Duering said. “His car stalled, and he wanted help, but he wasn’t willing to wait for that help. He goes up to a stranger’s door and tells him that he has been shot, and he needs help. And, of course, our officers get that, and they are in lifesaving mode.”
When there is a report of an individual being shot, Duering said police are running a code response. Code responses can vary from a request for an officer to acknowledge a call to a non-emergency response to a high priority call where lights and sirens are used to get through traffic and an emergency where speed is essential.
In the case of the Cloud incident, Duering said it was a Code 3 response, which is an emergency response where lights, sirens and speed are essential.
Duering said police are very cautious about issuing a Code 3 response because there is a high level of danger involved on the part of the police and the public because they are racing through the community as fast as possible to get to the scene of the emergency.
“The danger is not only to them (police officers) but to the public,” Duering said.
He said when officers get to an emergency, such as the Cloud incident, “they are worried that firearms are present and there’s a danger to themselves and the public only to find that he made it all up because we would not respond to a stalled car that much sooner. Then when we decide to throw him in jail, which was the right decision given the grievousness of the claim, he had an issue with that and assaulted one of our officers and resisted arrest.”
Duering said there was no mention in the police report of Cloud being intoxicated or a need for medical clearance for him, which is an indicator that extreme intoxication was involved.
“I don’t like anybody who assaults officers or resists arrest, but we are trained to deal with that, and it comes up pretty regularly,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is part of our job. My issue is the amount of danger you put the public in when police are in a lifesaving mode when they are trying to respond rapidly to a situation that doesn’t exist.”
Duering said Cloud’s only motive was his car stalled, and “he didn’t want to wait for us to respond. He wanted to get us there right now.”
He said it is not unusual for people to call the police when they are having problems with their vehicle on the street, especially if it presents a traffic hazardous or late at night when they can’t get other help.
“Oftentimes, a vehicle stalling is not a police issue if it is out of the roadway,” Duering said. “The dispatchers will try to get them the help that they need, such as getting hold of a wrecker service or somebody. A lot of times, we will show up and see what we can do for them and try to take care of that by telephone.”