Story highlights

A power outage knocked out cable in parts of Connecticut

Police issue warning after residents of the town of Fairfield call 911 to complain

On Facebook, police say it's not an emergency, urge them to call their cable company

"Misuse of the 911 system may result in an arrest," post says

CNN —  

People have called 911 to complain about lousy hamburgers and cold french fries, but what happened Sunday night in a Connecticut town may have set a new standard for misuse of emergency calls.

The cause of the crisis? Viewers couldn’t watch their cable TV programs. And if Facebook posts are any indication, “Breaking Bad” was what the viewers wanted most.

A power outage knocked out cable service Sunday evening in parts of Connecticut, leaving Cablevision customers unable to watch television, including the hit show now in its final season.

While most viewers chose to wait for service to be restored, others opted for a far less rational course of action: calling 911.

The Fairfield Police Department was not amused and took to its Facebook page to post a refresher course on using its emergency system. The message read:

“We are receiving numerous 911 calls regarding the Cablevison outage. This is neither an emergency or a police related concern. Please direct your inquiries to Cablevision. 911 should only be called for Life Threatening Emergencies ONLY. Incidents that are not of an emergency nature may be reported to the Fairfield Police Department. … Misuse of the 911 system may result in an arrest.”

Cablevision said it had restored service by 11 p.m. Sunday. But judging by the comments on the Fairfield Police Facebook page, the fallout was far from over.

Among the many comments about being unable to watch “Breaking Bad”: “Yes, this was a huge misuse of 911,” one comment read, “but privately, I think it was kind. Of. Awesome. Tonight’s breaking bad was super intense and Very riveting by every second. Obviously these folks were not thinking rationally when reaching for the phone.”

When a lack of cable TV is a reason to call 911, “I have to wonder what this world is coming to and if people truly understand the definition of emergency,” read another comment.

A resident named Ben Gott may have had the best solution. “When my Internet went out an hour ago,” he wrote on Facebook, “I took a hint, put one of my dad’s old jazz records on the turntable, and pulled out a good book. That, plus the crickets and peepers, has turned this into a very good night indeed.”