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by Pauli Poisuo
Nobody calls 911 to share details of the glorious day they’re enjoying -- they call out of desperation, in what is likely the worst day of their life. Or they might call it because they’re a good citizen, reporting someone else’s worst day of their life. But sometimes, the dispatcher takes a call that only exists because a series of events has transpired that rival even the stupidest Three Stooges moments.
A Domestic Violence Case Turn Out To Be A Bad Case Of Flatulence
In 2013, a Clawson, Michigan resident called 911 and reported strange sounds from the apartment next door. There were repeated loud noises, punctuated by a woman’s desperate screams of, “Stop! No!”
You can probably guess what that image invokes, and the 911 operator definitely could. So she alerted the cops who went in to check on the scene as a potential case of domestic violence where they knocked on the door all ready and police-y. When a woman answered and the officers smelled what was really going on, they were presumably tempted to join the “Stop! No!” chorus themselves.
The entire yelling scenario turned out to be all about farts. They had responded to a scene where a guy had gas in the most extreme way, and the woman was just horrified and trying to get him to stop. That’s ... not a punchline to a joke -- that actually happened.
“And thus began my journey, far from the dark embrace of Fart House.”
You’re probably familiar with the non-police version of this situation. The person doing the farting just sort of keeps breaking wind for the hell of it, while the other person melodramatically demands an end to the foul gusts of ass-wind that are coming out like spectres from the broken containment system in Ghostbusters. And unless the methane clouds are of the lethally rancid, “Quick, empty the interrogation room or we all choke to death,” variety, it’s all generally done in jest and merriment. However, as this particular couple found out, what this combination of repeated loud noises and desperate pleas can sound like to an unwary listener is another thing entirely.
Still, we can’t help but think that this was one of those rare 911 calls where everyone involved walked away better off than they were before. The cops got to write a dad-joke-filled report using statements like, “Cleared the scene expeditiously.” The girl now had documented evidence that this man, indeed, farts way too much. And as for the guy, well ... a good “I once farted so much that the neighbors called 911” story will automatically win you all the bragging rights.
A Burning Stadium Turns Out To Be A Festive Yule Log Video On A Stadium Screen
As bad news goes, a burning stadium is right up there on the list. That’s why the citizens of Regina, Canada were so terrified when they saw that Mosaic Stadium, home to the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, was ablaze. The town’s 911 (yes, it’s the same number in Canada) got several frantic calls about the massive fire consuming the stadium over the course of two weeks in December, 2012.
Wait, hold on. Two weeks? How could it burn that long without being addressed, and what in the holy hell was it made out of that would allow it to burn that long? Did some insanely dedicated pyromaniac coat the whole building with pitch every couple of hours so they could prolong the pleasure?
Of course not. In fact, the building was never even on fire. The truth is far more stupid: The stadium had decided to celebrate the Christmas season with a festive video of a burning yule log that they displayed non-stop on their giant scoreboard and banner screens. It was a cute enough idea, provided you knew what you were looking at and were standing close enough. If you didn’t, and were gazing at the stadium from afar, the video display made a very passable impression of a raging inferno.
“We call this video ‘Arsonist’s Porn’.”
After the fourth panicked 911 call and presumably some pretty pointed comments from first responders, the stadium eventually agreed to take down the video and replace it with a “Thank You” message to fans. The strange thing is that the whole “Holy crap, Mosaic Stadium is on fire!” thing didn’t even come as much of a surprise to them. Roughriders CEO Jim Hopson even quipped, “It’s funny, someone jokingly said, ‘Y’know, I don’t know about that Yule log. Someone is going to think the stadium is on fire.’ Sure as heck, someone thought the stadium was on fire.”
History exists for a reason, so it might be worth jotting a quick note down for future stadium screen supervisors that if someone in your organization points out that people might think that your stadium is on fire, maybe don’t make your stadium look like it'‘ on fire.
A Burglar Calls 911 Because He Broke Into An Escape Room And Can’t Escape
It’s one thing to call 911 because you’re stuck somewhere, and completely another to make the call because you’re stuck somewhere you’re not supposed to be. Sure, this sort of thing has happened before. But then there’s Rye Daniel Wardlaw, who managed to elevate his stuckedness-induced 911 call to an entirely new level where only the god-kings of irony dare tread.
In 2018, Wardlaw was arrested and charged with 2nd degree burglary in Vancouver. He had (allegedly) broken into a small business at a strip mall. Unfortunately for him, the business he had chosen for his shenanigans was an escape room game. Which he soon found that he couldn’t escape.
In a truly glorious example of instant karma, Wardlaw discovered that he couldn’t figure out how to use the lock of the front door. He was now stuck in an escape room designed for teams, and filled with devious puzzles. Wardlaw didn’t have a team, and having already failed to operate a freaking door, he wasn’t exactly what you’d call a puzzle master. So, after carefully assessing the situation, he did the only thing that he could: He called 911 and asked for someone to come and let him out.
As a strange epilogue to the story, the cops arriving at the scene actually found Wardlaw outside the escape room. It’s almost as if the universe had waited until he’d made his call to get its irony fix, and then suddenly unlocked the door and allowed the poor bastard to leave.
A Hit-And-Run Case Is Cracked When A Woman’s Car Snitches On Her
In early December 2015, a mysterious motorist hit a car in Port St Lucie, Florida. The culprit didn’t bother stopping, instead opting to flee the scene that sent one victim to the hospital with back injuries. To make things extra douchey, they also ruined a pretty neat Christmas party: The car they plowed through just so happened to have a whole bunch of presents in the trunk. That’s pretty damn close to Grinch territory, right there.
However, this crime had a witness: a hawk-eyed guardian that saw everything and wasn’t about to let our villain get away with their crimes.
That witness was a car, and man, it was totally hell-bent on snitching on its owner.
Cathy Bernstein drove a newer model Ford that, unbeknownst to her, had a built-in emergency assist feature. This means that whenever the car recognizes something approaching an accident, it makes records of the crash. Then conveniently, it auto-dials 911, and provides the authorities with said records, plus a bunch of handy GPS data on its location. This is excellent news if you’ve accidentally crashed into a rock in the middle of desert, and are stuck in the car with a broken leg, desperate to be found. It’s significantly less awesome if your car takes it upon itself to call 911 and basically say: “Yo, my dudes, this Cathy woman driving me just hit a Honda and then just drove on like it’s nothing. Weird, right? I’d give her a call if I were you and ask what she’s up to. Here’s where to find her, by the way.”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Dave.”
The 911 operator took the car’s data to heart and contacted Bernstein, who rapidly went from haughty denial to admitting that someone might have cut her off in traffic, finally settling on a story that she had hit a tree. Meanwhile, the police were investigating the case and had little trouble connecting Bernstein to the actual accident, thanks to the car’s data and the fact that they found traces of the other vehicle’s paint on her Ford.
Unsurprisingly, Bernstein was arrested and charged with a hit-and-run. The police would later find out that when she hit the car, she was actually fleeing from another hit-and-run case. At that point we assume her car waited for everyone to leave, allowed itself a little smile, and drove into the sunset, disappearing to bide its time until we need it to bust dumb-ass drivers once again.
Criminals Butt-Dial 911 While Committing Crimes All The Time
Most of us constantly carry a communication device that can connect us to anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. You’d think that this is the first thing a person would leave at home, turn off, or otherwise secure before committing illegal activities. You would, of course, be wrong.
A surprisingly enormous amount of criminals have not only completely failed to disable their mobile phones while committing crimes ... they’ve butt-dialed 911 to inform the authorities of said crimes.
In 2013, Scott Simon got into a late-night argument at a Waffle House. We’re guessing that he lost, because afterwards, he was so furious that he decided to follow the other guy home and shoot him. He shared his intentions with an accomplice. He also got promptly arrested, because every word he said was recorded thanks to an extremely awkwardly timed 911 ass-dial.
In the same week, two burglars, named Nathan Teklemariam and Carson Rinehart, drove around Fresno, discussing various targets and how to rob them blind. This was greatly appreciated by the 911 operator who had been listening in for a full 35 minutes since one of the men had shifted his weight in an unfortunate way and, yes, butt-dialed the law.
“Now here’s how we’re going to rob the actual 911 control room ...”
That same year (what the hell, 2013?), burglar Douglas Wolaver accidentally booty-rang 911 while in the process of burgling. As an amazing detail, the accidental 911 call ate so much of his battery that when the cops arrived on the scene and he tried to hide, they found him by the “low battery” sound beeping from his phone.
And just in case you think that this was some weird 2013 fashion trend among the law-abidingly challenged, here’s a 2016 case where two men happily discussed a possible drug deal with a buttock-activated 911 operator listening in. And another one where the criminals were planning a restaurant robbery. A 2012 butt-dial drug deal. A 2011 drug deal, again in a Waffle House because why the hell not? Trust us that there are waaaay more out there, but we don’t want to bury you in links.
OK, maybe one more. A special mention has to go to a 2012 genius named Wesley Strom, who was actually aware that his phone sometimes inadvertently called 911. But that didn’t stop him from doing anything about it before stealing cars. Over the course of his one-day, two-car crime spree, he ended up pocket-dialing 911 four times.
Like this article? Check out “5 Moronic Criminals Who Basically Caught Themselves” and “Criminals So Hilariously Inept, They Made The News”.