Halloween decor prompts 911 call, owner says ‘it’s all in fun’

(Courtesy: WJHL)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – First responders rushed into what they thought was a heinous crime scene after dispatchers received a chilling 911 call Wednesday morning, but it turned out to be a Halloween joke.

Our sister station WJHL obtained a copy of the 911 call from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

Caller: “There’s a guy lying in his driveway, with two big bloody handprints on [the] side of the house. It looks like he was dead. I don’t know. I didn’t stop I just came on to work.”

Johnny Riddle made the frantic call to 911 after seeing what appeared to be a body in his neighbor’s driveway on Chuckey Pike in Greeneville, Tennessee.

“I thought it was somebody, I thought it was somebody laying up there on the driveway,” Riddle said.

The “body” turned out to be clothing stuffed with paper.

Joseph Lovergive and his family live in the home. They say Halloween is their favorite time of the year and they always start early.

“This morning about 10 o’clock I get a pounding on the door,” Lovergine said.

Thinking the 911 call was serious, several deputies responded to Lovergine’s home.

“I said, ‘Thank you guys for caring but I’m doing just fine,’” Lovergine said.

He said officers even pulled the boot off of the stuffed clothing to make sure it wasn’t a real person.

Lovergine said he never thought 911 would be called and he’s hoping everyone can appreciate the joke.

“I thought it looked so real and so fun and I hope people don’t take offense,” Lovergine said.

Riddle said he’s relieved what he saw Wednesday morning was all a joke and he’s fine now that he knows it was not a real body.

Other neighbors WJHL spoke with didn’t even realize what was in Lovergine’s yard until it was pointed out. They also thought it was funny and most said they’re more amazed that the family has
Halloween decorations up more than a month before the holiday.

Lovergine said this is just the beginning and he plans to add even more decorations to his yard as Halloween nears.

After the incident, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office posted an alert to the public, with a little bit of, on its Facebook page.

It says in part, “Attention everyone. This is a Halloween decoration – do not call 911 instead congratulate the homeowner on a great display.”