View Full Version : Man calls 911 after Subway left sauce off sandwich

August 4th, 2008, 03:30 PM
This appears in todays NYTimes.

I don't know why I'm posting it. Maybe it's because it's so hot out, and I'm frazzled with work when I'd like to be at the beach.

There but for the grace of God go I:

Man calls 911 after Subway left sauce off sandwich

Published: August 4, 2008
Filed at 3:01 p.m. ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jacksonville police say Reginald Peterson needs to learn that 911 is not the appropriate place to complain that Subway left the sauce off a spicy Italian sandwich.

Police said the 42-year-old man dialed 911 twice last week so he could have his sub made correctly. The second call was to complain that officers weren't arriving fast enough.

Subway workers told police Peterson became belligerent and yelled when they were fixing his order. They locked him out of the store after he left to call police.

When officers arrived, they tried to calm Peterson and explain the proper use of 911. Those efforts failed, and he was arrested on a charge of making false 911 calls.


BTW: I don't want to start anything, but are the Subways better in NY or London? I'm just asking.

August 4th, 2008, 03:59 PM

That is all you need to know. Florida has a large population of idiots. If some insanely crazy story like this one happens and it doesn't occur on the Island, it will most often come from Florida.

August 4th, 2008, 04:06 PM
....or Atlantic City.

August 7th, 2008, 08:52 AM
BTW: I don't want to start anything, but are the Subways better in NY or London? I'm just asking.

Afraid not. But on the good side, they're no worse either.

August 7th, 2008, 09:58 AM
Word is, he is facing charges for this.

I feel kind of bad for this guy. Something is probably not right in life if you call for 911 after being thrown OUT of a CHAIN FOOD RESTAURANT for being disruptive.

August 7th, 2008, 10:06 AM
BTW: I don't want to start anything, but are the Subways better in NY or London? I'm just asking.


Where's Nick, our Galloping Gourmet.

August 7th, 2008, 10:10 AM

Where's Nick, our Galloping Gourmet.

Do they have the 5 pound meter long?

Oh, they still use feet over there, don't they......

August 7th, 2008, 10:10 AM

Is it Illegal to Call 911 for a Non-Emergency?

By Rod Brouhard, About.com
Updated: July 23, 2007

Question: Is it Illegal to Call 911 for a Non-Emergency?

Answer: To call 911 for any purpose other than to report an emergency could result in criminal penalties. Each state has different penalties for 911 misuse, but in most cases, abuse can lead to jail time and stiff fines.

In California, calling 911 with the intent to annoy or harass an individual (such as calling 911 claiming a neighbor's house is on fire when it isn't) may lead to fines of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both. To repeatedly call 911 in California for non-emergency reasons can lead to fines as high as $200 per call.

Virginia's penal code calls 911 abuse a "class 1 misdemeanor," which is punishable by up to a year in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both. In fact, in Virginia it's illegal to make false reports of emergencies or disasters by telephone to anyone - public or private - not just the 911 lines.

Emergency call centers are careful not to discourage proper use of 911, and most will educate callers that use the service incorrectly. Nearly all cases of 911 abuse that are prosecuted stem from egregious violations. For example, a woman in Oregon was arrested for calling 911 in order to see a particular deputy sheriff she thought was cute. Similarly, a Texas man called 911 to ask a dispatcher on a date. And a Florida man was arrested in 2003 after calling 911 more than 900 times.

If you are unsure when to call 911, then use your best judgment. It's much worse to not call 911 when a life is in danger than it is to call for less than an emergency.

Think in terms of immediacy: Do seconds count? If an intruder is in the house, the police need to respond immediately before someone gets hurt - call 911. However, finding a smashed car window and a missing stereo in your driveway in the morning can be reported on a non-emergency line.

©2008 About.com, a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. (http://firstaid.about.com/od/callingforhelp/f/07_911_Illegal.htm)

August 7th, 2008, 10:16 AM

Five Worst Reasons to Call 911 ...

By Rod Brouhard, About.com
Updated: March 1, 2007

... Here are the five worst reasons to call 911.

1. Testing to See if the Phone Works

911 will always be answered, but that doesn't mean it should be called. The California Highway Patrol is responsible for answering all wireless 911 calls made in California. Every year on Christmas morning, the CHP receives an increase in 911 calls from cell phones given as gifts. These calls take up valuable communication lines and may block emergency calls from making it to a dispatcher.

2. Getting the Number for the Police Department

When callers need a non-emergency number for police, fire, or ambulance, they should call 411, not 911. Any time a caller feels his or her life is in danger, he or she should call 911 - otherwise, use a nonemergency number.

3. To Ask the Police-Fire-Ambulance Agency a Question

If a caller is not in need of assistance immediately, 911 is probably the wrong number to call. When calling to ask a question and not to request immediate assistance, call the department's non-emergency number.

4. Teaching Kids to Call 911

While it is exremely important to teach kids to call 911, it's a really bad idea to actually have them do it when there is no emergency. Kids learn by example. If mom and dad seem to think it's OK to call 911 just to practice, then they will, too.

5. To Get a Cat Out of a Tree

Calling for help with animals in distress is perfectly fine - just don't call 911. Only call 911 regarding animals if the animal is endangering humans. 911 is intended for human emergencies only, all calls to request assistance for animals lost or in distress should go to an agency's non-emergency number.

©2008 About.com, a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. (http://firstaid.about.com/od/callingforhelp/qt/06_Bad911.htm)

August 7th, 2008, 10:17 AM
I feel kind of bad for this guy.There should always be people like this sprinkled throughout society. Not so many that it breaks down order; but just enough to highlight the indignities we all endure.

I once got into an argument with the financial company that administered one of my employee investment accounts, over who would bear the cost of a stamp on a self-addressed envelope. It worked its way up several levels of management.

August 7th, 2008, 10:51 AM

911 systems choking on non-emergency calls

Pranksters, clueless callers block lines for legitimate crises

By Alex Johnson
Reporter MSNBC
updated Tues., Aug. 5, 2008

Which of these is an emergency?

A Subway sandwich shop in Florida leaves the mayo and mustard off a customer’s order.
A Texas man can’t get a cab.
A Tennessee man’s stepfather keeps nagging him to do the laundry.

To hear callers to 911 emergency lines tell it, all are.

Eddie Mitchell, a 911 dispatcher in Rancho Cordova, Calif., near Sacramento, likes to tell the story of the caller who demanded to know why the Transportation Department hadn’t mowed the grass. Another wanted to know how to use his cell phone.

“We’ve had people call in asking us to bring them milk,” Mitchell said.

Darrell DeBusk, a spokesman for the Knoxville, Tenn., police, can top that. “A few years ago. an individual called 911 wanting an officer to drive through McDonald’s and bring him a hamburger,” DeBusk said.

Those calls may be funny, but in cities large and small, police officials and system administrators warn that 911 systems are being choked with clueless, frivolous, even prank, calls.

In California, for example, as many as 45 percent of the more than 8 million cell phone calls to 911 each year are for non-emergencies, officials said; in Sacramento, it could be as high as 80 percent. Those calls block the lines for callers who really need urgent help.

“You’ve got a true emergency with somebody out there — that there’s a shooting or something — then those officers are not able to respond to that emergency call, because they’re taking care” of callers who abuse 911 lines, said Jennifer Wilson, who has worked in the 911 center in Knox County, Tenn., for 16 years.

'Who do I talk to?'

Excerpts from non-emergency 911 calls

1. Dispatch: "9-1-1- What are you reporting?"

Caller: "Hi I'm trying to find, who can I report a lost telephone to, who do I talk to?"
Dispatch: "A lost telephone?"
Caller: "Yeah I lost my cell phone."

2. Dispatch: "Mobile 9-1-1. What are you reporting?"

Caller: "I'm looking for International Airport."
Dispatch: "Sir, you can't do that. Whatever you're looking for, you're on a 911 line."

3. Caller: "Hi. I don't know if this is a total emergency, but I'm at the laundromat. Our clothes are sitting in dirty water at the laundromat."

4. Dispatch: "Hello?"

Caller: "Hi. I have a child here, and we need some help. She's refusing to go to school. She's — we had to have the police come out and get her yesterday to take her to school. She is being ..."
Dispatch: "Ok ..."

5. Dispatch: "911."

Caller: "Do the police have a program called scared straight?"
Dispatch: "Scared straight? I've never heard of it."
Caller: "It's like when you take the child and show them where juvenile is and scare them so they straighten up."
Dispatch: "How old a child is it?"
Caller: "She's 10."

Sources: KNTV-TV, San Francisco (1-3); WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tenn. (4-5)

‘We’re here for a purpose’

Officials say decades of education programs meant to emblazon the numbers 9, 1 and 1 in every American’s memory may have worked too well. Because police have to respond to almost every call in case it’s a real emergency, people have figured out that a quick call to 911 guarantees action.

Like Reginald Peterson.

... (I shall spare you, since you've seen that already - Z)

Or like Kevin Waits.

Waits called a cab to his home in Waco, Texas. When it didn’t show up, he called 911. The dispatcher told him to call a taxi service.

Waco police Officer Steve Anderson said Waits grew more and more frustrated as he couldn’t get a cab. So he called 911 again. And again. Eventually, he called 15 times.

When police finally went to his apartment, they found a cab waiting for Waits — who didn’t have the $26 fare.

Waits was charged with harassment and theft of service.

Or like the unidentified 19-year-old man who called 911 in Knoxville because his stepfather wouldn’t stop nagging him to do the laundry or wash the dishes.

According to the transcript of the call, the man told the operator: “Why can’t he be a grown man and do it hisself instead of whine about it and pick and pack and fight about it?”

Wilson, the Knoxville dispatcher, said, “I hate to use the term ‘babysitter,’ but we’re here for a purpose, and that is not our purpose.”

27,000 prank calls to 911

It’s especially galling when the caller is someone who obviously should know better. Take Gabe Pacheco, a lieutenant with the fire and rescue squad in Monroe County, Fla.

Pacheco was put on paid administrative leave last month after he called 911 to report a non-existent boating accident. The sheriff’s report said Pacheco wanted to cover up the fact that he was going to be late for a shift change.

But the worst are the prank callers, who set out to tie up police and emergency resources for kicks.

In February, police in Hayward, Calif., arrested a man and charged him with making more than 27,000 phony 911 calls to Hayward police and the California Highway Patrol. He would grunt and make other sounds described only as “bodily noises,” mutter in a disguised voice and repeatedly press beep tones from the touchpad.

The caller, identified as John Triplette, 45, “completely overwhelmed our system,” said Desi Calzada, manager of the Hayward Communications Center. “He delayed the answering of other 911 calls because we were answering his.”

According to police, Triplette said he made the calls “because it’s free.”

Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Nashville Metro police, said it’s called “joyriding.”

“It’s a joy call to 911,” Aaron said. “What they don’t understand is that the call takers at 911 take these calls very seriously. The police department takes them very seriously.”

Some jurisdiction opt for penalties

So seriously that authorities are moving to crack down.

Last month, Ventura, Calif., began charging a per-incident fee for 911 calls. Residents can opt out of the charge by paying a recurring monthly fee, but if the don’t, every non-critical call to 911 will cost them $17.88.

“We get a few kids that play on the phone,” said Patty Chase, communications supervisor for Kern County Dispatch. “We get a few people that ask us strange questions, like when it’s going to stop raining and things that we couldn’t possibly answer.”

Some residents complained that the fee defeated the purpose of 911.

“I can’t believe that,” said Salomon Olvera Jr. “It’s really shocking to me. 911 is supposed to be an emergency phone number.”

Another opponent, James Courrangoiton, acknowledged that “they get a lot of crazy calls.” But, he said, “there’s got to be a better way of controlling that other than penalizing everybody.”

Last month, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law imposing a $50 fine for a second non-emergency 911 call. Penalties rise to $250 for the fourth call.

“One warning is sufficient,” said Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Palm Desert, who sponsored the bill. “This is not an appropriate use of 911. Don’t do it again.”

© 2008 MSNBC Interactive (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26040857/)

August 9th, 2008, 05:06 PM
I swear to God... I am not making this up:

I did call 911 once to ask them what was correct temperature to cook a pork roast.

I was 18 years old. There was a whole bunch of us and we had bought a pork roast and then realized we had no idea how to cook it. We had been smoking weed.

Anyway, the lady was very nice and she explained everything: 325 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours.

August 11th, 2008, 10:55 AM
Good to be roasted properly.

August 12th, 2008, 05:59 PM
That reminds me of a time we called 911 on ourselves. SO stupid. My idiot roommate, we later found out, programmed 911 in one of our phone's speed dial buttons, right next to the pizza. Like 911 needs speed dial! Well the pizza guy never showed, but the cops came, all the way in, and the house freshly reeked. :eek:

August 13th, 2008, 05:38 PM
Just a couple of days ago I read about calls being made from a cellphone and the police can only trace it from a certain apartment building. It was a little girl who was on the phone each time.

She would not give them her address initially but after another call the police decided to trick the girl into thinking if she gave them her address, they will send something from McDonald's to her home.

And so...of course no McDonald's came...instead the police went to her home and discovered that the little girl was using a dead/inactive cellphone as a toy.

Apparently, deactivated cellphones still can be used to call 911 for emergency purposes.

So parents....be mindful of what you give your kids to play with! :rolleyes:

August 14th, 2008, 09:27 AM
I was just thinking this over and realized I mis-remembered:

I did not call 911.

911 had not been invented yet.

I dailed "O".

Or rather, I "Touch-Toned", "O".

(Most likely on a baby-blue Princess phone).

Back then, if you had an emergency, you just dailed "O" and a live Bell Telephone operator immediately came on the line.

Or you directly called the police department or the fire-department.

(Zippy and Lofter can probably remember party-lines and when the operator even knew you by name. But I don't go back that far.)


August 14th, 2008, 09:59 AM
One ringy-dingy.......

August 14th, 2008, 11:26 AM
(Zippy and Lofter can probably remember party-lines and when the operator even knew you by name. But I don't go back that far.)--Yes, I used my influence with Alexander Graham Bell to get a job for my girlfriend.


August 14th, 2008, 12:34 PM
I have encountered some places where you have to call 911 if you even need the police for a non-emergency. And this was a major city we shall leave nameless to spare them the embarrassment, but let's just say they have a high crime rate.

In New York before the days of 311 you would just call the precinct. Now it is 311 and if they think it is worthy of 911 they'll transfer you.

August 14th, 2008, 01:55 PM
I am prompted to come clean about another category, where 911 is actually used for both emergency and non-emergency.

Currently, I have a home in Illinois with an extremely low-crime rate, and it is located somewhere between Chicago and the Wisconsin border. The population is relatively small and income ranges from moderate to very well-off.

Like many of the communities surrounding it, dialing 911 is OK for any "general dispatch": meaning community service, reporting stray dogs, reporting your neighbour for code violations, and finally, any police calls - regardless of whether that call is crime-related activity or not.

August 14th, 2008, 02:05 PM
Which means for you, essentially, 911 is not really "911". It is more like speed-dial #911. ;)

October 25th, 2008, 05:44 AM


After Joe the Plumber, Joe the Hothead?
McCain's brother drops out of campaign after angry 911 call to complain about traffic

From Associated Press
Oct 25, 2008

(WASHINGTON) First there was Joe the Plumber. Is Joe the Hothead next?

Joe McCain said Friday he'll withdraw from campaign activities for his brother, GOP presidential nominee John McCain, after calling 911 to angrily complain about traffic. Joe McCain has apologized for making the call.

The candidate's younger brother, who lives in Alexandria, Va., told Washington radio station WTOP he was returning from a campaign event in Philadelphia around 2 a.m. on Oct. 18 when he got stuck in traffic on Interstate 495 at the Wilson Bridge. Police say the call was made about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 21.

Frustrated because of the traffic, Joe McCain called 911 to find out what was going on. The operator asked him to "state your emergency."

"Well, it's not an emergency, but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95 traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic's coming the other way?" Joe McCain said.

The operator asked him if he was calling 911 to complain about traffic. McCain then uttered an expletive and hung up the phone.

© 2008 Newsweek, Inc. (http://www.newsweek.com/id/165604)