PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A community activist and former Pittsburgh mayoral candidate has been convicted of several misdemeanors for what authorities said were scores of false 911 calls from his house last year.
An Allegheny County jury convicted 38-year-old Abdula “A.J.” Richardson on Tuesday of reckless endangerment, harassment, false reports to law enforcement and retaliation against a witness or victim. Jurors acquitted him of two counts, including one felony.
His wife, 44-year-old Felecia, was acquitted of five counts, including a felony, but convicted of two misdemeanors.
Prosecutors accused the two of 128 false 911 calls from their home over a 22-day span in 2014. They will be sentenced Oct. 8.
During the trial, jurors heard some of the 911 calls.
Police testified that they identified some of the calls as being made by Richardson’s children.
Often, when police came, they were confronted by Richardson who claimed he was being harassed by police. He recorded and posted many of those confrontations.
The defense says there’s no evidence Richardson conspired to orchestrate what his children did, but prosecutors argue he was often present while the calls were made.
After the verdict, Richardson’s bond was revoked and he was taken to jail. His wife is free.
Richardson ran a distant fourth in the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary. He has announced plans to run for another office, but never has.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has released this statement after the the verdict:
“One of the most dangerous activities for any police officer is when he or she is asked to respond to a 911 call involving a domestic situation or a 911 call involving unknown activity. In this case officers responded to dozens of calls like this knowing full well that they could wind up in the middle of a life threatening scenario. They do this because of their training and dedication. After working hard to process and understand a large amount of information, this jury made it clear that abusing the emergency response system is behavior that our communities and our citizens cannot and will not tolerate.”
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