Hearing postponed for fake 911 calls

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Preliminary hearings for a former Pittsburgh mayoral candidate and his wife, both of whom are charged with making more than 100 unnecessary phone calls to Allegheny County’s 911 dispatch center, were postponed Monday morning.

Hearings for Abdula “A.J.” Richardson, 37, and Felecia Richardson, 43, of Sheraden, are now scheduled for April 23.

They were arrested April 4 after Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that the 911 center had received more than 100 phone calls from the family since March 8. Police wrote that 911 dispatch tapes show the calls often included a female-sounding voice or a child’s voice sounding distressed and asking for help.

Mr. Richardson told police the calls did not come from his Bergman Street home and he has asked his phone carrier, Verizon, to investigate, and that the company has no proof of the calls either.

But officials wrote that they verified the Richardsons’ home phone number by asking the dispatch center to call back the number from which the call was placed while they were on scene. Officers heard the phone ringing inside, police wrote.

Mr. Richardson and his wife are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and making false reports. According to the affidavit of probable cause, two of the couple’s three children were also charged.

Mr. Richardson also faces charges of retaliation and disorderly conduct. He is awaiting a nonjury trial May 12 on charges of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and burglary stemming from a dispute with a neighbor last year.

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