An Ohio woman trying to report alleged domestic violence found a creative way to get the attention of authorities without alerting the suspect in the incident that she was phoning for help.
The incident took place on Nov. 13 in Oregon, Ohio, and led to the arrest of a man on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, according to the Toledo Blade.
Oregon Police Chief Michael Navarre told The Blade he is “extremely proud” of how 911 dispatcher Tim Teneyck handled the situation.
“He picked up on a woman who was in distress, but was in a position where she couldn’t convey it to him in those words,” Navarre said.
“And then he was able to ask her all the right questions without putting her in harm’s way.”
The name of the caller was not released, but police said she was the daughter of the woman involved in the suspected domestic violence incident.
The Blade posted a recording of the call on its website.
It begins with the caller hesitantly saying: “I would like to order a pizza.”
“You called 911 to order a pizza?” Tim Teneyck said.
“Uh … yeah,” she said. The recording bleeps out the address the woman gave.
“This is the wrong number to call for a pizza,” the dispatcher said,
“No, no, no, no, no, you’re not understanding,” the woman replied.
“I’m getting you now,” Teneyck then said. “I got it.”
After asking for her to repeat the address, he asked, “Is the other guy still here?”
“Yup,” she said. “I need a large pizza.”
The dispatcher asked if medical attention was needed, and the woman said “no” in reply.
He asked if she could stay on the phone, to which she also replied “no.”
“All right,” Teneyck said. “We’ll get ’em going.”
In the recording, Teneyck then urged responding officers not to have their sirens operational when they arrived on the scene, and told them the caller had tried to order a pizza and that he suspected it was a domestic violence call.
Simon Lopez, 56, was arrested. The caller’s mother, who was the alleged victim, told police she was struck on the right arm with a closed fist and later pushed into a wall by a suspect who came home intoxicated.
Lopez has denied the allegations against him,” The Blade reported, citing police records.
Teneyck said accidental pizza calls happen on a regular basis.
“When you answer the 911 lines, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
He said he was aware that the pizza ruse had been used before, but never in his jurisdiction.
“You see it on Facebook, but it’s not something that anybody has ever been trained for,” he told WTVG in a video posted to YouTube. “We’re just trained to listen.”
In this case, it was not what she said, but how she said it, Teneyck said.
“She did everything right,” he told The Blade.
Teneyck said callers who are in crisis situations should remain on the line as long as possible.
“The best thing to do is just have an open phone line and say as much as you can — address and names — until we can figure it all out,” he said.
Teneyck said calling for a pizza might be the only way to alert authorities.
“If it’s your only option, and that abusive person is next to you and listening to everything you say, then by all means — you call and order that pizza,” he told The Washington Post.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.