911 call lands speeder in jail

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:59

    MONROE-A New York City man, stopped by state police on a speeding violation, attempted to divert the trooper's attention by calling in a 911 report of a "man with a gun" complaint on his cell phone, state police report. According to state police at the Monroe barracks, the incident unfolded this way: At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, Trooper Sean Lammens was working stationary radar on the Orange and Rockland Road in the Town of Monroe. He observed a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, traveling eastbound, pass another vehicle, in a no-passing zone, doing 43 mph in a 30-mph zone. The trooper stopped the Jeep at the Mobil gas station on Route 208, at the intersection with Schenemunk Road, in the Village of Monroe. The driver, Gilberto Velez, 45, identified himself with a New York State Public Assistance Benefit Card because, he told the trooper, he did not possess a valid New York State driver's license. Lammens returned to his patrol vehicle and radioed in a driver's license check. That check revealed that Velez was wanted on a parole violation on a charge of third-degree grand larceny in connection with an October 2002 New York City arrest and conviction. While in his patrol car, Lammens heard Orange County 911 dispatch another trooper to a "man with a gun complaint" in front of a residence on Second Avenue in the Town of Monroe. Meanwhile, Velez, while being placed into custody, was observed talking on his cellular telephone and told to hang up. He was then brought to the Monroe barracks for processing. While he was being processed at the station, an Orange County 911 dispatcher telephoned State Police regarding the "man with a gun" complaint. The dispatcher told the trooper she thought that she heard a police officer in the background, talking to the complainant while he was using his cellular telephone. Further investigation and a review of the 911 cell call determined that the police officer in the background was Lammens and that Velez made the false report hoping to divert the troopers from arresting him. Velez was arraigned in the Town of Chester Court on a charge of second-degree falsely reporting an incident, a felony, and several vehicle and traffic violations. He was sent to the Orange County Jail without bail.