Drunken dialing's always a bad idea, especially when the number you're dialing is 911.
An off-duty FDNY emergency medical technician learned that lesson firsthand yesterday morning, after she supposedly made several fake emergency calls a few hours after police wouldn't arrest a bartender she thought had wronged her.
Pamela Falco, 48, was "out cocktailing in the Bay Street area" Wednesday night, according to a police source. Around last call, a bartender took her car keys, afraid she might get behind the wheel drunk, the source said.
Ms. Falco called the police at about 5 a.m. yesterday, telling them the bartender had assaulted her, according to court papers. But the officers who responded soon realized she was telling tales and wouldn't arrest him.
About an hour later, she made her way to her emergency band radio, and started ranting - on an NYPD frequency - about the quality and intelligence of Staten Island cops, the source said.
"Staten Island cops know nothing!" she allegedly said over a restricted radio band, according to court papers.
By 7 a.m., she had made her way to a pay phone near her Maryland Avenue home in Rosebank, and that's when she started calling 911, cops allege.
In a span of maybe 10 minutes, she made three bogus calls - two of them reporting that someone had jumped into Lower New York Bay, and a third reporting that a man with a knife had stolen her purse on Hylan Boulevard at Bay Street, according to the police source.
The man-in-the-water calls drew a massive response from police and the FDNY, who searched the bay near Edgewater Street for close to an hour, looking for a drowning man.
The Advance reported the police response to both incidents on its Web site, silive.com. Court papers don't detail the bogus water rescue call, but they describe another phony emergency cops say Ms. Falco concocted at about 7:40 a.m. That time, she claimed that someone took her purse at gunpoint.
Cops were able to trace the calls to the pay phone, and when they arrived, Ms. Falco was still there, the source said.
"I guess her hangover was still with her," the source said.
Ms. Falco is charged with reckless endangerment, falsely reporting an incident and obstructing government administration.
An FDNY spokesman confirmed that Ms. Falco works as an EMT for the department, but wouldn't say where.
So far, the spokesman said, no disciplinary action has been taken against her, but FDNY officials will investigate the incident.
Ms. Falco has been an EMT for about two years, the police source said.
She's expected to be arraigned today in Stapleton Criminal Court.
John Annese is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org