Arnthia Willis: Kansas mom tries to prank daughter saying she'd been shot, jailed for April Fools' joke

More than 15 cops to responded to the woman’s home in full protective gear with guns drawn and the EMS in tow


                            Arnthia Willis: Kansas mom tries to prank daughter saying she'd been shot, jailed for April Fools' joke
Arnthia Willis of Wichita was arrested after police and EMS responded to what turned out to be an April Fools' Day joke (Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office)

A woman was arrested last week in Kansas after she called her daughter to say she’d been shot in what turned out to be an April Fools’ joke.

"Multiple police units, probably between 15-20 officers from the Wichita Police Department as well as fire department and EMS responded to the scene," Wichita police Lt. Ronald Hunt said after the "shooting" was reported by the daughter, who called 911 immediately, unaware it was a gag.

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Arnthia Willis, 58, allegedly called her daughter on Thursday and told her of the “shooting” following which she hung up, according to Wichita outlet KAKE-TV. Officers responded at around 8:30 a.m. to a 911 call by an alarmed daughter, of her mother shot in her home in the 4800 block of East Arlene, 24th North and Oliver, according to the Wichita Eagle. Hunt detailed that the woman, who was identified as 58-year-old Arnthia Willis, called her daughter, told her she'd been shot and hung up, prompting more than 15 cops to respond to the woman’s home in full protective gear with guns drawn and the EMS in tow.

Authorities arrived, surrounding the Wichita home and nearby streets were blocked off. When they tried to make contact with anyone inside and no one responded, officers with guns drawn then broke down the door, Hunt said. The home was empty, said the KAKE-TV. report.

The daughter said that was when she came to know that her mother was safe and at work and this all had been an April Fools Day joke. The prankster was arrested in Derby by Derby officers and charged for unlawful request of emergency service assistance and was held without bond early on Friday morning.

“April Fools’ can be a good, funny little joke in some circumstances” but when it leads to a police response “it’s not funny any more,” Hunt said to the Wichita Eagle. “This is a situation that is very dangerous … yes it could be a situation where it could be a (swatting call) but that is going to be up to maybe the district attorney.” A swatting call is when someone dials 911 and lies about an emergency to create an emergency response to a specific location, under false pretenses. 

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