When you think about the 911 emergency system, the first thing that probably doesn’t pop into your mind is hilarity because emergencies are, by definition, not funny. But, sadly, there are some people who don’t seem to grasp that the 911 system is solely meant for emergencies and have been known to call for some incredibly ridiculous reasons. In case you’re wondering, yes, drugs and alcohol do play a large factor in most of these calls, and yes, a lot of callers live in Florida.
10. Locked in the Car
This first call may sound like a lame sitcom joke but is very real, and happened in Kissimmee, Florida. On March 31, 2009, an unidentified woman called 911 to say that she was locked inside her own car. Yes, you read that correctly. She didn’t have her keys and was trapped inside of her own car. She said the electronics on the car weren’t working and she was getting hot and not feeling well.
The dispatcher, who sounded a little confused as to why someone would call over something so stupid, simply asked the woman to open the locks herself. Hearing the idea, the woman tried the locks, then said, “uh, I’m sorry” and hung up the phone. The police confirmed it wasn’t an early April Fool’s prank, and there were no reports of anyone dying of embarrassment in the area.
9. Andrew Mizsak
It can’t ever be easy to call 911 over the behavior of a family member. If you have to, we hope it’s nothing too serious, or at the very least, we hope it isn’t as pathetic as the call that Andrew Mizsak, 63, placed on May 14, 2009. Andrew Sr. called because he got into a fight with his 28-year-old son, also named Andrew. Andrew Jr. lived in the basement of his parent’s Bedford, Ohio, home and on that day, Andrew Sr. told his son to clean up his room. Andrew Jr., who was living in his parents’ home rent-free, refused and threw a temper tantrum. He threw a plate of food across the kitchen and made a fist at his father.
When the police arrived, Andrew Jr. was ordered to go to his room to clean it. He agreed to clean it while, and this is the exact wording from the police report, he “cried uncontrollably.” Andrew Sr. didn’t want to press charges because he didn’t want to ruin his son’s political career. At the time, Andrew Jr. was serving on the Bedford school board. Unfortunately, the story was picked up by the Associated Press and was shared on national news syndications, which probably didn’t help his public image.
8. Terry Kimball
On the night of November 15, 2011, 50-year-old Terry Lee Kimball of Largo, Florida, was enjoying a few beverages when he got the munchies for tacos. Kimball at least had the good sense to not drive to the Taco Bell near his home. Instead, he walked there and sadly discovered that Taco Bell was only taking orders at the drive-thru and didn’t allow walk up orders. Now, there are a few things Kimball could have done. He could have bribed a car waiting in the drive-thru to get him some tacos. He could probably have paid a cab to drive him through. Or he could have just walked home and made do with whatever he had there.
Kimball didn’t do any of that because he wasn’t messing around, and he really wanted some tacos. So, naturally, he called 911. He told the operator that it wasn’t an emergency; he just wanted some tacos and asked them if they could talk to the manager for him. He found it unfair that he was doing the right thing by not driving, but they weren’t willing to serve him. Kimball tied up the 911 line for 11 minutes regarding the fact that he couldn’t get service.
In the end, instead of stuffing his face full of regrettable tacos and sleeping it off, Kimball got arrested for misuse of the 911 system and spent the night in jail. Kimball was embarrassed by the situation and blamed the dispatcher for keeping him on the phone for so long instead of just helping him get some soft shell tacos.
7. A Light in the Sky
In December of 2011, police in Hertfordshire, UK, released a call made to 999 (their version of 911), made by a man to say there wasn’t an emergency, but there was a bright light in the sky and he didn’t know what it was. The man then said it was over his home and leaving a light trail. He asked the 999 dispatcher to find someone who could find out what the light was. The man sounded genuinely spooked and, yes, completely loaded.
Then, a short time later, the man called back to apologize. What he saw wasn’t proof of alien life. It was the moon. The man was never identified and police released the audio record to show people exactly what type of calls you shouldn’t make to emergency call systems.
6. Mary Strey
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and police forces throughout the world say that if you see a possible drunk driver, it is important to call 911. Someone who took that to heart was 49-year-old Mary Strey of Granton, Wisconsin. On October 24, 2009, she called 911 to tell them that someone was driving while really drunk. When they asked if she was following the driver, she said, “No, I am them.”
The dispatcher, who was clearly shocked, asked Strey if she was driving and she confirmed that she was. The dispatcher had Strey, who was now talking on the phone while driving drunk, pull over and wait for police to arrive. The police gave Strey a breathalyzer and they found that her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and she was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving.
5. Audrey Scott
If you’ve never drunk dialed someone yourself, well, good for you, but even if you’ve never done it, hopefully it is understandable why other people do it. Of course, we aren’t encouraging it; we’re just saying it’s understandable. What isn’t understandable is what 57-year-old Audrey Scott of Alliance, Ohio, did.
In June of 2010, she called 911 five different times in one night without an emergency. When the dispatcher asked her what she wanted, Scott said, “I need a husband.” Exasperated at the situation, the dispatcher told Scott that she could be arrested. Scott replied by saying, “Let’s do it.” So an officer was sent out to Scott’s house. Once they met, they fell in love, got married and lived happily ever after. No, just kidding. Scott was arrested and jailed for three days. Hopefully in the future she’ll just stick to flirting with exes on Facebook like the rest of us.
4. Mark Eskelson
On the night of August 28, 2010, a call came into the 911 system in Beaverton, Oregon, and after the dispatcher asked what type of emergency it was, the caller started by saying, “this is no joke.” Which is obviously an excellent opener when you’re calling 911, right? While it wasn’t a joke, the man couldn’t decide what type of emergency he was having, and identified himself as “the sheriff of Washington County.” Then he got to the heart of the matter. He claimed he was in a hot tub for 10 hours, his towels were wet, his fingers were prunes, and his voice was hoarse from too much yelling. He said that he needed a dry towel and “…a hug and a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it.”
When the police arrived at the scene, they found Mark Eskelson, a homeless man, naked in someone’s private hot tub. He was arrested and was sentenced to 30 days in prison.
3. Mark Welch
On September 2, 2012, 18-year-old Mark Welch of Orange City (and we think you know exactly what state Orange City is in), smoked some synthetic marijuana and then had a nap. When he woke up, he believed that what he had dreamt was coming true in real life. His parents didn’t believe him, so logically, the stoned young man decided to call 911 to prove that his dreams were totally coming true, man. When the dispatcher asked him what happened in his dreams, he said he had written it all down on paper but didn’t elaborate. The dispatcher, who was probably unsure what to do with someone who was having an existential crisis, sent out a sheriff’s deputy to Welch’s parents’ home to check on him. After arriving at the house, the deputy determined that Welch was high, but otherwise okay. He let Welch off with a warning not to misuse the 911 system.
Now, all Welch had to do was not call 911 again and he would have been fine. He could have just sat in his basement with a bag of Doritos and watched Inception until he fell asleep and it would have been an okay day for him. After all, he got away with calling 911, while high on drugs, because he thought his dream was reality. Not many people get that type of a pass from the police. But nope, Welch wasn’t going to settle for that because his dreams were coming true and dammit, he was going to prove it!
Welch’s parents hid his phone, so he went to his neighbor’s house and again, he called 911. This time, he said, “The officer told me not to call back, and he said if I called back, you all were going to take me to court, so I am calling back, because I have to prove something.” So the deputy came back out and arrested him for misuse of the 911 system. What’s really spooky is that Welch dreamt that he was going to end up being arrested that night. No, not really, because synthetic marijuana doesn’t allow you to see into the future, it just does harmful stuff to your brain and body.
2. Latreasa Goodman
In March 2009, the 911 dispatch in Fort Pierce, Florida answered a phone call from a woman who said she was at a local McDonald’s. Her problem was that she paid for chicken nuggets and small fries, but they were out of McNuggets and wouldn’t give her her money back. Instead, they wanted her to pick another item, like a McDouble. Amazingly, the dispatcher was calm while talking to the woman. She advised her to talk to the manager and she said she would send an officer over before ending the call. A short time later, another call was placed to 911 by the same woman with the same problem. Again, the dispatcher listened to her problem and he also said an officer was on the way. Then, amazingly, a third call was made to the 911 system by a woman who wasn’t going to get her McNuggets. Police went to the McDonald’s and arrested 27-year-old Latreasa Goodman. When talking to the police, Goodman said, “this is an emergency, my McNuggets are an emergency!”
After the calls were made public, Goodman became a viral news story. Major American news agencies and even The Telegraph in the UK picked up the story. Goodman apologized and said she was embarrassed over the incident. She also defended herself and said she should have just gotten her money back. Which is completely understandable, because in what world is a McDouble a replacement for McNuggets? So while we are sympathetic to Goodman’s plight, it’s still not a justification for the way she acted.
1. Edward Sanchez
Some people handle drugs better than others. On one end of the spectrum were writers like Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson. On the complete other end is Dearborn, Michigan, police officer Edward Sanchez. On April 21, 2006, Sanchez and his wife used some marijuana he had confiscated from a suspect to make some magic brownies. Shortly after eating the brownies, Sanchez started acting like a 16-year-old noob hitting a bong for the first time and freaked right the hell out.
Things got so bad that he called 911 and told them that he and his wife were overdosing on pot and that he was dying. Then he thought he was actually dead, and that time was “going by really really really really slow.” Police arrived and discovered that Sanchez was fine, just super high, because it’s pretty much impossible to OD on marijuana. According to a 1988 brief from the DEA, someone would need to smoke 1,500 pounds of pot in 15 minutes for it to be a lethal dose.
Sanchez and his wife weren’t charged, but Sanchez was forced to resign from his job as a police officer. Hopefully the brownies tasted as mind-blowing as the drugs.