An Elkridge man whose 911 calls prompted two large-scale police searches -- one for a drowning baby -- was ordered yesterday to perform 50 hours of community service for making false reports.
Edward Wayne Carter, 29, of the 6900 block of Dorsey Road, was given the order after prosecutors dropped their request for him to pay Howard County about $7,800 in restitution for investigations into his claims.
"I can't emphasize to you enough how serious this is," Circuit Judge Dennis Sweeney told Mr. Carter. "These are outrageous things that have occurred. I don't want you to leave here believing you are off the hook in any shape, way or form."
The first 911 call, on May 16, 1993, told of a drowning baby in an Elkridge creek. The call prompted a large-scale search by police, rescue workers and citizens.
On Feb. 2, 1994, Mr. Carter reported that he had returned home to a burglary in progress and that the burglar had fired two shots at him before fleeing.
Numerous patrol cars, two police tactical units, a K-9 unit and a state police helicopter were used to search for the fictitious burglar.
Mr. Carter admitted making the false reports about the baby and the burglary a week after the burglary claim.
The judge's order for the community service is on top of a one-year suspended prison term Mr. Carter received after accepting a plea agreement in May.
The plea deal also requires Mr. Carter to complete two years of probation and to seek counseling.
Yesterday's hearing was scheduled to determine if Mr. Carter should pay restitution to cover the county's expenses.
Assistant Public Defender Avery Berdit contended that Mr. Carter could not pay restitution. He noted that Mr. Carter earns $280 a week at his job at York International Corp. in Jessup and is about $3,200 behind in child support payments.