Former Texas emergency operator jailed for hanging up on thousands of calls

(Reuters) - A former emergency operator in Texas was convicted of hanging up on thousands of 911 calls and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation, prosecutors said.

Crenshanda Williams, 44, was found guilty in Houston on Wednesday of systematically hanging up on people trying to report emergencies, the office of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

A jury found Williams guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls, a misdemeanor.

Williams had worked at the Houston Emergency Center for about 18 months, ending in 2016. She drew supervisors' attention for a high number of "short calls," or those that last fewer than 20 seconds, the statement said.

A database at the center also records who disconnects a call - the operator, the caller or both. Data showed that Williams hung up on thousands of calls, including reports of homicides, robberies and speeding vehicles.

Williams told prosecutors she often hung up because she did not want to talk to anybody at those times, the prosecutors' statement said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis)