Police Officers Share The Dumbest Call They Ever Had To Respond To
But what you can't be arrested for is calling 911 only for it to be a complete waste of time. If you felt you were in danger, you are legally entitled to call 911--which leads to some big, stupid phone calls.
Redditor MemeMasterFlexLord asked the internet:
Here were some of the answers.
You Know Nothing, John Snow
Was enroute to a domestic argument between husband and wife called in by a neighbor. Screams, swearing, hitting.
Arrived to a dude in his boxers by himself watching Game of Thrones on his surround sound.
The Price Of Good Neighboring
One day, I came home fairly late and noticed my car had been recently egged. I washed it off, but on a whim, I walked up the street and noticed that car had been egged too. I walk up and see two more. It's 2:30am. What to do? Wake up the owners?
I call the cops and tell them that I need to walk up the street with a flashlight and wash all the cars, and I'm not trying to break into them but it looks like lots of cars have been egged so I don't know how far I'll need to go. It's obvious the eggers are long gone. So if they get reports of a suspicious person, it's just me. I felt like an idiot.
Cop showed up and paced me the whole time with his car just to make sure no one shot me or anything. I washed about a dozen cars. I guess they just ran out of eggs.
This Is How IT Must Feel
Not a very long or crazy one, but today I responded to a woman "locked out" of her vehicle. Took me quite some time to get across town, find her in the giant mall parking lot, etc. The woman is crying hysterically when I get there about how scared she is about "never being able to drive her car again". I calm her down, take a look at the car, and open the passenger door. Just, open it. She only locked the driver door on accident and didn't try any of the other doors to open the car.
Former cop. I was dispatched to a burglary in progress. A lady called and said she was locked inside her bedroom and people were rummaging through her living room of her apartment. She is hysterical and begging for us to rescue her. I mean she is beyond frantic. So me and my partner are racing there as fast as possible. Lights and sirens hoping to get there before she is brutally murdered. We get there, surround the apartment and I'm about to kick the door in. Then the door opens and the lady is standing there with the most embarrassed look on her face, hair a mess, disheveled pajamas. She forgot that she decided it was hot and opened her balcony door which created the desired breeze she wanted and blew some papers off her coffee table. That was it. The wind.
Dealt with the same couple for about a year:
They would call anytime they were mad at each other and then layout their full exploits...but they were mundane.
"She takes pens from the bank"
"He speeds on Main Street"
No assault ever occurred, no abuse. Just two people who didn't know how to break up and wanted us to fix it for them.
Check Your Fridge
I'm a dispatcher, not a cop, but I once had to send an officer out to a lady's house because she had left town that morning and suddenly couldn't remember if she'd closed her refrigerator door before she left. The call came in at like 1am and she wanted us to send someone out to look in her windows to see if the fridge was closed (and possibly break in to close it if it was open, to which we said no f-cking way).
An officer was sent. The fridge was, in fact, closed.
Not a cop, but had my old neighbor call the cops on me for cutting my grass shorter than his so his house looked "trashy" in comparison and I refused to adjust my lawnmower because I didn't want to cut my grass twice as often. Cops show up and talk him, knock on my door preface it all by "Your neighbor is an absolute idiot, but we have to talk to everyone involved..." Then continued with me and the cops joking on my porch for 10 minutes about random shit while my neighbor watched fuming. He was then given a verbal trespass warning and told to not come to my door anymore. The rest of the neighborhood heard of the cops ordering him to leave me alone and anytime he went on his weekly crusade to tell people what's wrong with their yard in comparison to his they called and had him given trespass warnings so the next call would be criminal/arrest. He moved after he couldn't be the self appointed lawn cop of the place, no we didn't live in an HOA.
911: I'm Sleep Deprived
My fiancé is a cop and told me a story about someone calling the police because they were locked out of their house. Upon arriving to this ridiculous call (Who on earth calls 911 and not a locksmith?) it turned out that they were not locked out of their house but rather they were locked out of the bedroom. There was no child or pet or hazardous item that was locked in the bedroom. They calmly explained to this person that being locked out of your bedroom is not a police matter and advised that they call a locksmith.
The Poor Horse
Not a cop, but the cop did say "Well this was a waste of my time." So it's probably close enough.
I used to work at a horse board barn. A couple big barns, a few pastures and we had a 16 acre pasture across the street that we turned broodmares and retired horses out on. One day after lunch I walk out and there is a cop car sitting in the driveway. I sort of blink at it a bit and wonder if the cop is going to get out and come up to the gate or something (it was kinda surreal). Finally decide I should go out and ask if I could help him with something.
The first thing he says to me is "I'm pretty sure this is a waste of my time."
Turns out someone called in and said we had too skinny horses in a mud lot, with no access to water, and they were pretty sure one was dead already.
I just looked around at the (probably a bit too plump if I'm honest) happy horses wandering around the pastures (which were admittedly muddy... because it rained) and shrugged.
The cop just shook his head and told me to have a good day.
Also, just a general PSA... horses will sleep laying down. If you see a horse laying down, don't be too concerned. Yes, they will look dead, watch to see if they take a breath (respirations only about 10 breaths a minute)
I'll post my brown goo story again:
I'm a reserve deputy now, but in the past I was an intern for my home town's police department for two summers. I saw a lot of calls that ended up being wastes of time, but this one was special.
The officer I was with got called to deal with a family issue involving a minor and some healthcare-type stuff, so I stayed in the car listening to the radio. With things like that, sometimes it was better I gave the family some privacy. There were three other officers on that day. One was being trained by the field training officer, so they rode together. The other had his own car. Anyway, I'm sitting listening to music, and a call comes out. (If any of you recognize this, I forgot numbers/exactly what was said). The call was along the lines of "323, [City Dispatch], can you head to [Address]? Caller is advising there is a brown goo in his alley."
"[Dispatch], 323. Brown goo?"
"10-4; he says it smells bad"
I'm still in the car waiting for my officer to get back, because I want to go see what this mystery goo is. More voices on the radio:
"[Dispatch], 323. I'm 10-23 (on scene). There's definitely brown goo. It definitely smells bad."
And more voices:
"[Dispatch], 316 and 324 are going to be out at [Address] investigating that goo as well."
The FTO had brought his trainee along. My officer hurries back to the car and we decide we need to also investigate this goo. We get to the address and pull into the alleyway. Now the entire city's police force is sitting in this tiny alleyway talking to the homeowner/caller. In the grass between the gravel of the alleyway and the back of the caller's garage is this foamy brown goo. It was baking in the summer sun, and smelled like a combination of roadkill and a ham and cheese sandwich that had been left sitting in a hot car for about a week. We all stood around making jokes for a while before a sheriff's deputy joined the fun. I poked the goo with a stick, which didn't do much more than release more bad smells. The caller had a rake, which only spread the goo around further. The FTO got this dumb smile on his face and said "You know...this seems more like a fire department issue." He got on his radio:
"[Dispatch], can you start Fire to our location? For the goo?"
"316, [Dispatch], 10-4"
A few seconds later we hear a fire page (series of tones unique to each department in the county) go out over the radio and start laughing. In about 3 minutes, two firefighters show up in basically a big Ford-F350 with some rescue gear on it. They get out, demand to know why we called them, and then also start poking at the goo. They start to smile.
"You know," one of them says, "we don't have any water on this truck..." The other firefighter starts laughing, and the first picks up his radio. "Start an engine to [address]." They back their truck out of the alley. Finally the engine shows up with four firefighters on board and the lights flashing. The driver actually pulls this giant truck into the narrow alley, and drives up to where we were gathered around the goo. They get out and walk up to us.
"Why are we here?"
Officer points to goo; first two firefighters laugh
"What is it?"
"Goddamn, it smells bad."
"Yes. Yes it does."
The firefighters sit for a moment in silence. "We could...hose it down maybe?" We tell them that they 100% should hose down this goo. The homeowner/caller agrees. The firefighters unload a hose and attach it to the front of the engine. They tell us to stand back, then blast the everloving f* out of this rancid mystery goo. They send goo and gravel alike flying into this poor man's yard, coating his garage with it. Now everyone but the firefighter manning the hose is laughing, even the homeowner. As the firefighters packed up their hose, we decided there was no more protecting and/or serving to do, so we headed back for our cars. As we were leaving, one of the officers turned to the homeowner and said "Remember, this is the fire department's fault" and everyone laughed again.
This all took maybe 25 minutes at most. Such are the joys of small-town policing.
All Of Them
Honestly 95% of calls. There are just too many to pick an example.
The biggest reason is that people think our job is general problem solving.
Having an argument with your roommate? Just call the police. They'll take your side so you can win the argument (everyone knows that we automatically have to be on the side of the 911 caller).
See a guy walking down the street? Well, since you've never seen him before, call the police just to check it out and make sure he's not a murderer.
But Really, All Of Them
Most of the situations I respond to are a huge waste of time. Here are some examples.
- The sand in the outdoor volleyball court was too hot
- Someone was chased by a baby squirrel
- A tourist saw some form of wildlife in a mountain town
- I've been to probably close to 100 reports of a stolen car where someone just forgot where they parked.
- A suspicious person "who was not known to the area" was the callers next door neighbor.
Source; Been a cop for 10 years in two states.
Oh boy. I'm not a cop anymore due to medical reasons but it's hard answering this question with only one story.
I'll try make this short. We went out to this house on a domestic because a woman and her husband were getting into it and arguing. They said they weren't physically fighting but when I got there I thought differently because of the amount of sh-t thrown all over the place. The male half had some bleeding above his eye. So I'm talking to them and of course they're giving me conflicting stories like they always f-ckin' do, and the woman says something along the lines of, "I just had it I f-cking snapped and threw the damn fan at his face!" Now this is one of those big fans with maybe like a four feet pole as a stand, used usually for an entire room (can't think of what they're called right now). She said that when they were arguing she went into the living room to get away from her husband, sit down, and cool off. But the dude comes over with the fan, positions it next to her face, turns it on, and proceeds to fart into the fan. So she flipped. I look at the dude and he's just kind of standing there, giving me that face of guilt like he's acknowledging the fact that I'm judging him but he's too embarrassed to vocally admit he did in fact fart into the fan to piss off his wife.
Firstly, they were both in the late 30's, and this is was the reason why I'm at their place. Secondly, she just admitted to assaulting her husband so unfortunately she's gotta go to jail. I wouldn't say that the call itself was a waste of time, it was a genuine domestic with an offense we could charge. But the circumstances that led up to it were f-cking stupid.
So next time it takes them forever to get to your house for your theft report or whatever, remember that people like them exist and keep us busy.
Still a cop. Generally the wealthier district is where the dumbest calls come from. I was once dispatched to a call in said district where a woman was locked INSIDE of her car. The driver door wouldn't open, however literally every other door would. She wasn't particularly out of shape, she just didn't put it together that she could crawl out the passenger side. At first I thought she was intoxicated but after talking to her a bit I realized she just wasn't very bright.
I was the dumb caller. I was home alone in my dad's house when I smelled gas from my room. I went to the stove to find out it had been on, and I turned it off. Everything still smelled like gas so I hid outside and googled 'house smells like gas' which of course turned up results like 'there's a gas leak call the cops now'
I called the cops, and I actually forgot my address and they had to find me. When they did show up, they couldn't find any gas because I'd opened all the windows. I was feeling pretty embarrassed for wasting their time at this point, but then it got worse.
I was a minor, and after calling I found out they couldn't legally let me go without an adult to take custody of me; that, or they could discharge me to a hospital. I tried calling my dad, but he wouldn't pick up the phone. My sibling who lives with me wouldn't either. The only person who answered was my sibling who lived thirty minutes away.
So an ambulance and a cop car had to wait with me for thirty minutes because I freaked out over a stove. The morning after, my dad texted my sister asking where I was.
Not a cop or a fireman but one day I put to much oil in my lawnmower it ran but it was burning all the oil off and made a gigantic thick cloud of smoke that engulfed my house along with the neighbors I got done cutting put the mower away and started to walk out of my back yard where I met a very curious fire fighter trying to look in to one of my side windows, I asked him what's up? He asked back fire and I said lawn mower he was like "oh, ok " turns around and leaves I follow him out to the front of the house to find the house crawling with firefighters and cops as well as like four very large fire trucks all ready to spray a house fire. The curious fire fighter just yells it was a lawnmower and they were all gone in three minutes. Best day ever.
Not a cop, but had a woman call the police on me for not turning the air conditioner down at the restaurant I was working at. (It was locked, I didn't have the key. Keyholder was owner who was out of town). Called and said I was trying to assault her. No f-cking lie. Cops showed up. Heard 30 seconds of her story, looked at me and told me to tell her to leave and never come back and they would happily come back to enforce her ban if she ever tried to come back in. Btw, it was July in Arkansas. 101 degrees with 90% humidity. No air conditioner my big sweaty -ss!
In The Toilet
Not police, but I used to live in an extremely small town. Someone called to report a skunk in their yard. Three fire trucks and an ambulance were dispatched. I'm serious.
Also, my next door neighbor sold pot before it was legal in our state. He got into a huge screaming match with his girlfriend. I poked my head out to see what was going on and he was screaming for help and that he was bleeding. Naturally, I called 911, so he didn't bleed to death. The police arrived. He was not bleeding. Later, he admitted he was "being a little b*" because his girlfriend locked him out.
And finally, my Grandma's toilet broke and was making noise. She called 911 so they could check the house for intruders.