Reporting domestic violence is often easier said than done but one woman in the United States found a way to fool her abusive partner by disguising her call for help as a pizza order.
Keith Weisinger, who worked as a police dispatcher between 2004-2006, said that when he took the call he thought the woman on the other end of the line may have been playing a prank but fortunately he didn’t hang up.
“This call occurred almost 10 years ago,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I worked the graveyard shift, 6pm–6am, and I remember this call being pretty late – close to midnight.”
After noticing the woman’s hurried responses Weisinger realised the pizza order was a coded call for help.
Cartoon illustrates domestic violence
According to the 911 operator here is how the conversation went down, as first posted on Reddit thread ‘911 Operators, what is the 1 call that you could never forget?’:
“911, where is your emergency?”
“123 Main St [actual address not given].”
“Ok, what’s going on there?”
“I’d like to order a pizza for delivery.” (oh great, another prank call).
“Ma’am, you’ve reached 911”
“Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers?”
“Ummm…. I’m sorry, you know you’ve called 911 right?
“Yeah, do you know how long it will be?”
“Ok, Ma’am, is everything ok over there? Do you have an emergency?”
“Yes, I do.”
“…And you can’t talk about it because there’s someone in the room with you?” (moment of realization
“Yes, that’s correct. Do you know how long it will be?”
“I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?”
“Can you stay on the phone with me?”
“Nope. See you soon, thanks”
Weisinger said he checked the history of the address and noticed it had domestic violence-related episodes in the past.
“The officer arrives and finds a couple, female was kind of banged up, and boyfriend was drunk,” his Reddit post reveals.
“Officer arrests him after she explains that the boyfriend had been beating her for a while. I thought she was pretty clever to use that trick.
“Definitely one of the most memorable calls,” he added.
While occasionally callers make an effort to meet the dispatchers who helped them through a distressing experience Weisinger, who now works as an environmental attorney, said he never found out what happened to the woman believed to be in her 30s.
“This is a part of the job most 911 dispatchers find frustrating. Beyond the immediate resolution – arrest, hospitalisation, etc – we rarely hear what happens to the people who call,” he told BuzzFeed.
And while he is being hailed a hero, Weisinger says it was the woman caller’s fast thinking that saved her.
“Whether she had thought of this trick before, or it just came to her she indicated the urgency of her situation without giving away the true purpose of her call.”