US Domestic Abuse Victim Calls 911 And Pretends To Order Pizza To Get Help
A woman was able to summon police while her mum was caught in a domestic violence situation by calling 911 and pretending she was ringing for pizza.
The unnamed woman was able to get the necessary help for her mother after using the tactic and getting through to a call handler who realised that she was in danger.
Police in Oregon, Ohio, were then dispatched to the apartment and a man was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
The woman, who says her mother was punched, pushed into a wall and threatened with more violence, called 911 and asked for a pizza, giving the address of where she, her mother and the man were.
Tim Teneyck, who took the call, told 13 ABC, said he initially thought he was dealing with a wrong number, so asked: "You called 911 to order a pizza?"
The woman said she had and gave the apartment number, before Teneyck said: "This is the wrong number to call for a pizza..."
Insistent, the woman added: "No, no, no. You're not understanding." And it was then the call handler twigged, reassuring the woman that he was 'getting you now'.
He then launched into some yes or no questions, which was the woman was able to answer creatively.
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When asked if the man was still there, the woman replied, 'yep, I need a large pizza' and when asked if they needed medical assistance she responded: "No. With pepperoni."
The tactic of calling up 911 and asking for a pizza in situations where it's not OK to talk have been shared online for the past couple of years. However, some police forces have warned people not to try it, explaining that call handlers might not be trained to know that requesting a pizza means someone is in danger.
Christopher Carver, operations director for the National Emergency Number Association, said: "Setting any expectations of secret phrases that will work with any 911 centre is potentially very dangerous."
But fortunately for the woman in this scenario, Teneyck was aware of it.
He told the news outlet: "You see it on Facebook, but it's not something that anybody has ever been trained for.
"Other dispatchers that I've talked to would not have picked up on this. They've told me they wouldn't have picked up on this."
Oregon Chief of Police Michael Navarre told 13 ABC: "Excellent dispatch work on the part of our dispatcher. Some dispatchers may have hung up."
When asked if he'd ever heard of anyone calling for 'pizza' to summon police assistance, he added: "Not in all my years... not in my 42 years of law enforcement."
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