We take for granted the job of 911 dispatchers, and it’s easy to forget how important their job really is! This incredible case shows how important it is to be alert to people’s distress, even at a job as tiring as this one. When a woman called 911 to order a pizza, dispatcher Tim Tneyck quickly realized she meant to alert him of domestic violence.
A couple of days ago, a dispatcher at the Ohio police received an unusual call. The woman on the other wanted to order a pizza. “I would like to order a pizza,” said the woman on the line, and gave him her address. The dispatcher was baffled. “You called 911 to order a pizza?” dispatcher Tim Teneyck repeated. “Yes,” was the woman’s answer, as she gave him the apartment number. “You have the wrong number,” the dispatcher urged – “it’s the wrong number to order a pizza.”
When the caller insisted, “no, no, no… you’re not understanding,” Tim finally realized, and he cut her off. “I’m getting you now. Okay… the guy still there?” the woman’s response was, “yeah, I need a large pizza, with pepperoni.” Before they hang up the call, the dispatcher had a chance to ask if a medical crew was needed in the scene, and whether she could stay on the line with him – to both questions the answer was no.
When police arrived at the house the unusual situation was finally cleared. The woman who made the call to 911 was the 38-year-old daughter of the woman who lived in the house. Her 57-year old mother was living with her boyfriend, Simon Ray Lopez, 56, and one night, when the daughter was visiting her mother, Simon arrived home drunk. According to the victim’s testimony, when her boyfriend arrived, he cursed and threatened her, and them the beating came. The woman’s daughter and another witness detailed the same scenario.
It was a smart move on the woman’s end to call 911 under the pretense of ordering a pizza, and she was lucky dispatcher Tim Teneyck was the one who took the call. Chief of police in Oregon praised the senior dispatcher: “he utilized his training and experience to recognize that a woman was in distress.” The two police men admitted it was a first for them; they’ve never heard of the method of ordering a pizza to alert the police of an emergency – but there’s a first time to everything, and this case would certainly teach them a lesson for the future.