Domestic violence victim’s daughter calls 911 to ‘order a pizza’

U.S. & World

OREGON, Ohio (CNN) — A wrong call at first glance quickly turned out to be a call for help.

Luckily for an Ohio woman, her 9-1-1 dispatcher was listening very carefully.

Dispatcher: “Oregon 911.”

Caller: “I would like to order a pizza at…”

Dispatcher: “You called 911 to order a pizza?”

Caller: “Uh, Yeah, apartment…”

Dispatcher: “This is the wrong number to call for a pizza.”

Caller: “No no no, you’re not understanding me.”

Dispatcher: “I’m getting you now.”

In his 14 years of service, this is a call Oregon dispatcher Tim Teneyck has never gotten before.

“You see it on Facebook but it’s not something that anybody has ever been trained for. We’re just trained to listen,” Teneyck said.

He says domestic violence calls are common, but not like this.

Dispatcher: “Is the other guy still there?”

Caller: “Yep. I need a large pizza.”

Dispatcher: “All right. How about medical. You need medical?”

Caller: “No. With pepperoni.”

After the exchange, Teneyck alerted officers to hurry.

Dispatcher: “Turn your sirens off before you get there. Caller ordered a pizza. And agreed with everything I said that there’s domestic violence going on.”

Teneyck says his intuition that something wasn’t right kicked in, which to him, reaffirms how important listening is in his line of work.

Dispatcher: “Thank you, how can I help you?”

“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,” Teneyck said.

Chief of the Oregon Police Department praised the dispatcher’s work.

“Excellent dispatch work on the part of our dispatcher. Some dispatchers may have hung up,” Chief Michael Navarre said.

Navarre told said that ordering a pizza to indicate domestic violence is something he’s never heard of.

“Not in all my years, not in my 42 years of law enforcement,” the chief said.

But coming up with some kind of code to alert 9-1-1 that you’re in trouble is the right thing to do.

The chief says if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here’s what you should do.

“Somehow or another convey to that police dispatcher that you are in trouble. And this woman did that. She did that not with her words, but with the tone of her voice,” Navarre said.

Thanks to the quick thinking of both the caller and the dispatcher, the alleged abuser, Simon Lopez, was arrested and locked up.

“He handled the call beautifully and it had a happy ending,” Navarre said.

The victim’s daughter says when she made the call, she was hoping to keep the person hitting her mom from running away before the police got there.

The strategy worked.

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