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Man Calls 911 To Fix Broken iPhone

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-bring-me-a-pizza-while-you're-at-it dept.

Iphone 244

tekgoblin writes "For some reason Michael Skopec of Illinois thought that calling 911 would get his broken iPhone fixed. It got him arrested instead. From the article: 'After the five calls were made police traced the calls to his home in Illinois where they found him drunk and belligerent. He was arrested because he would not follow the police officers orders. It has yet to be made clear what he was actually trying to accomplish by calling 911 to get help with his iPhone. Although he was arrested he only faces misdemeanor charges and has to be in court next week.'"

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Hey! (5, Funny)

cmv1087 (2426970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045564)

A broken iPhone really is an emergency! That means I can't play Angry Birds!

Re:Hey! (5, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045652)

A broken iPhone really is an emergency! That means I can't play Angry Birds!

So that's why he called 911... he wanted to throw things at pigs.

Re:Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045732)

Oh, I totally wish I had mod points. Hilarious.

Re:Hey! (5, Funny)

No, I am Spratacus! (2281684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045728)

If only that guy knows how to jailbreak, he'll be fine, right? Right??

Re:Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045818)

i wonder if he sobers up and says "i was trying to report that someone in my home maliciously vandalized my 500 dollar iPhone" if he couldn't get out of this

Re:Hey! (3, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045896)

Only if he could actually prove the Gizmodo editors were there...

Re:Hey! (2)

taoareyou (2468090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045918)

Technically you can play Angry Birds for free via Google Chrome app. Just sayin.

Re:Hey! (5, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045938)

Yes, but with so many good games out there, why would you want to?

Still doesn't beat... (0)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045568)

...the guy that called the cops to help him break into a bank.

Re:Still doesn't beat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045682)

Source?

What's more sad? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045578)

Let's play what's more sad!

Which of the following is more sad?

1) A man calls 911 to fix a broken iPhone.

2) Slashdot decides to report on a man calling 911 to fix a broken iPhone.

Stay tuned for the answer after this commercial break.

Re:What's more sad? (3, Insightful)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045620)

You say "sad" a lot :(

Re:What's more sad? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046294)

3) I came here to see what other slashdotters were saying about it :/

Locked screen? (5, Interesting)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045588)

The article was short on details.

I could see it not being that he was truly calling 911 to fix his phone, but rather the screen was locked. While I don't have an iPhone, my phone does allow 911 calls if the screen is locked, so I'm guessing the i-thing is similar. If he was too drunk to remember his unlock code he may have drunkenly hit the emergency call button multiple times.

Of course that's still pretty stupid sounding, but not as bad a confusing the police with a Genius Bar.

Re:Locked screen? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045784)

Droid2 here. I too have an Emergency Call button located just below the locked screen keypad. I'm guessing you have a Android based phone too?

Re:Locked screen? (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045840)

BlackBerry phones allow this too. In fact I cant think of a device that doesn't allow it, probably some sort of federal regulation, like any phone with a signal can dial 911 regardless of whether or not it has a valid SIM.

Re:Locked screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045880)

My Nokia N900 does not have this capability. If it is locked, all you can do is try entering codes or turn off the device.

Re:Locked screen? (1)

Script_God (803563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045808)

You still have to actually dial "911" after hitting the emergency call button. All it does is give you a dialpad (which pretty much only lets you dial 911, or whatever the local emergency number is).

Re:Locked screen? (1)

imunfair (877689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045980)

I don't know if they changed it, but back on Android 1.5 when I first got my phone it was a direct call to 911 - I know, I tried it. I figured there would be a few more steps - I mean no developer would be stupid enough to put a direct 911 button on a lock screen that is supposed to prevent you from accidentally pressing things...

Yeah, that 'feature' made the lock screen useless for me - and at the time the only way to remove it was to pay for a special lock screen app that did the same thing without the 911 button.

Re:Locked screen? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046100)

It was only some phones that did this, not all. The original G1 didn't, but the Samsung Moment did- I called the cops 3 times one day. Luckily in 3 separate cities. They fixed it in the first firmware update.

You didn't need to pay for a lock app though- there were plenty of free ones on the market.

Yes... of course (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046222)

The apologist is strong in this one. The police of course don't know the difference between but dialing and someone harrassing 911. They can't just show the difference because these messages are recorded.

Really, to often slashdot posters just try to find an excuse for everything no matter how silly.

Why the hell is this here? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045596)

Worthy of Slashdot, this is not.

Re:Why the hell is this here? (0)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046088)

Sure it's worthy. This should be a fine lesson to everyone, especially to those that believe that government is the solution to societies ills. People have and are being successfully trained to turn to the government to have any problem at all fixed.

As an iPhone user... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045604)

... InB4 : no, not all iPhone user are that stupid.
(anticipating cunning remarks from self-declared "superior" android users)

Re:As an iPhone user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045628)

as a fellow iphone and ipad user, who just upgraded to 4s, let me assure you, virtually all iphone users are about that stupid.

sent from my iphone

Re:As an iPhone user... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045796)

... InB4 : no, not all iPhone user are that stupid. (anticipating cunning remarks from self-declared "superior" android users)

It's true, though: No android user would call the cops while drunk and belligerent. We all leave such mundane tasks to unique hardware and software that we are free to develop in the open android ecosystem, unlike the pitiful iSerfs.

When I want to get my ass kicked by the cops, my BeagleBoard-based(runs linux, of course) automated kegerator sends me a text message when it hits a threshold deltaBeer/deltaT value. The IOIO attached to my phone uses its breathalyser sensor and firmware to verify my state of inebriation and then sends a GET to the local server that my custom libpigs interface provides. Libpigs dials 911 and uses the Google text-to-speech mechanism [techcrunch.com] to read Markov-chain generated pseudorandom rants based on mashups of obscure punk that you wouldn't have heard of and the lesser known speeches of 19th century radicals until they show up.

Once the accelerometers verify that I'm getting beaten down, my phone automatically uploads to youtube and starts Googling for personal injury lawyers!

Re:As an iPhone user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045978)

Is it Markov if it's pseudorandom?

Re:As an iPhone user... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046116)

read Markov-chain generated pseudorandom rants based on mashups of obscure punk that you wouldn't have heard of and the lesser known speeches of 19th century radicals

Don't you mean Markoff chains ?

(come on, throw me a frickin' bone here)

iStupid, iDumb, iBelongInJail (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045616)

NO TEXT

This story is posted on slashdot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045618)

Yet Ron Paul get only 89 seconds to speak during a 60 minute debate and no one hears of it.

Re:This story is posted on slashdot... (0)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045630)

who is ron paul and why should i care to read about his 89 seconds on slashdot? it is about as much on topic as TFA junk.

Re:This story is posted on slashdot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045670)

He's some dirtbag who thinks that freedom should be for everybody - except for pregnant women. Those, he believes the state should force into involuntary servitude.

Re:This story is posted on slashdot... (1, Offtopic)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045932)

He's some dirtbag who thinks that freedom should be for everybody - except for pregnant women. Those, he believes the state should force into involuntary servitude.

He's an OBGYN. He won one of his early elections because he had delivered just about every baby in a county [wikipedia.org] :

His successful campaign against Gammage surprised local Democrats, who had expected to retain the seat easily due to the Watergate scandal. Gammage underestimated Paul's popularity among local mothers: "I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he'd delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner."

Re:This story is posted on slashdot... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046012)

wrong.

Re:This story is posted on slashdot... (0)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045720)

mass media corps are hand picking presidential candidates and you have absolutely no problem with that - got it.

Re:This story is posted on slashdot... (0)

brilanon (1121645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045764)

Get tae fuck

For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (0, Offtopic)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045642)

Kyocera makes a phone that can be run over by a car and still work. Casio makes a phone which can be dropped and submerged for hours and still work. Motorola makes a Android smartphone [motorola.com] which is dustproof and water-resistant. Apple makes a phone that breaks if it falls of a table. There's no reason that Apple's products need to be so fragile.

The first generation of rugged phones was based on a rigid frame surrounded by rubber. That adds bulk. The future may be to give the printed circuit board, display, and battery some flexibility and make the case out of Kevlar, with sapphire-over-polycarbonate for the screen. Then the whole phone can flex a bit without damage.

The next step is to get rid of the holes. It's time for connectorless phones. Modern phones have Bluetooth, WiFi, and CDMA/GSM radios. Add inductive charging and you don't need any connectors. Then the whole unit can be watertight. This beats putting in water detectors that invalidate the warranty.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045658)

No thank you on connectorless. If I want to transfer data, I want USB speed not bluetooth. And if I want to charge it, I want it to charge in minutes, not hours.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045666)

WiFi is fast enough for transferring data.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045702)

You assume it's available. I don't have a wifi router (my computer is wired). Neither does every hotel I go to (many are wired). Nor do my parents (their single PC is wired). Plus I then have to send my data via the internet, which I may not wish to do. And I'd need a program on the target PC to connect to it.

Nope. Still want a USB connector.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045836)

It would certainly carry a premium over standard boring USB(and essentially zero power); but I'd be interested to see how fast an optical link you could (economically) achieve under 'near optoisolator' conditions: emitter/receiver pair in the phone, behind the little window, matching emitter/receiver pair in the dock/dongle/whatever.

Given that the RONJA-link guys manage to get 10Mb/s out of an LED over multiple KM of free air, I suspect that you could get a decent slice of USB throughput through a liquid-impermeable chassis with a fairly cheap optical mechanism...

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045730)

WiFi is fast enough for transferring data.

Not for the initial multi gigabyte sync.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045726)

I disagree with the GP for many reasons, but connectorless phones would be awesome. And my inductive charging unit goes nearly as fast as my cable - full charge in an hour or two.

However, he does forget that phones need holes for audio and mic. And if you have any holes, what's the point?

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045742)

waterproof mics and speakers are -easy-.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045754)

However, he does forget that phones need holes for audio and mic. And if you have any holes, what's the point?

Isn't that what bluetooth is for?

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046090)

I like being able to use Bluetooth. I wouldn't much like being forced to.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045862)

Any surface that vibrates can, if you can measure the vibration, serve as a mic(take a look at the hilariously sneaky story of the Soviets using radar to observe the vibrations of some metal plaque they had "politely" donated to the American embassy on some occasion, or the contemporary bouncing-IR-lasers-off-windows devices that achieve the same ends). Similarly, any surface that can be vibrated can be coaxed into being a (on average terrible) speaker.

It would be unlikely to do as well as a conventional mic and speakers, and would cost more; but you could implement a 100% sealed chassis and still get audio in and out.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046064)

And if you measure the frequency response of that vibrating thingy beforehand you can in the software compensate for the lack of quality of the analogue part of the device.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046120)

I suppose you could, but how well would it work? Presumably you'd connect the voice coil right to some sort of waterproof diaphragm, in which case it's just a super-durable speaker, but wouldn't that severely dull the frequency response - regardless of compensation?

More troubling, there's a lot less force pushing on that microphone than there is (potentially) on the speaker. And you can't really compensate for what you lack to begin with.

My usage of "need" was imprecise. You can wrap a phone in cellophane and it'll still work just fine, so it's not a necessity... but that's not really what I meant.

For how it looks, you have a problem... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045714)

Break resistance does cost more than the very lowest of the "Does it boot? Most of the time? Ship that fucker!" school of engineering; but the reasons for the vulnerability of contemporary iDevices and their ilk pretty much come down to what people want, however dubious their priorities.

They want very slim, they want shiny, they don't want bezels, they want max battery life without increasing thickness. Boom: You have a phone whose case and chassis are a mixture of glass and metal practically calculated to crack and/or transmit shock to circuit boards(at least the Android units tend to only be entirely glass on one side...). Absolutely nothing to give you an elastic collision, no replaceable exterior sacrificial components(remember those now-traumatically-retro Nokia units, whose entire outer casing was a slightly loosely fitting ABS+Polycarbonate replaceable shell with a bit of crumple space between it and anything important? That design probably added more mm to the phone than certain modern devices have; but it meant you could drop the thing, crack the fuck out of it, pick it up, and get a new shell for $5 at the nearest seedy kiosk.)

The people who care primarily about durability are, unfortunately for them, not quite large enough a market to get the really good stuff. They do pull Real Serious Cases for iPhones, and reasonably ruggedized variants of some of the more widely model-numbered Android designs; but the ones done from the ground up to be rugged tend to be a bit retro.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045746)

What about a flexible 'phone that you wrap around your wrist and wear as a watch, but it can fold out into a keypad and a flexible screen or just a large touchscreen. Sort of like this idea: http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/nokia-4g-designer-phone/ [gizmowatch.com] maybe you could find a way to charge the 'phone using the swinging motion of walking around to charge the mobile phone.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046016)

No one gives a shit. Please kill yourself. Thanks.

Re:For what it costs, it shouldn't break. (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046032)

It is possible to have connectors as well as a user changeable battery and still be water tight.

pet peeve (1)

korendir (2212878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045668)

"obscruction" of justice? News sites should spell-check..

Re:pet peeve (3, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045692)

Sounds like a spell from Harry Potter. "Obscruction!" he shouted. He pointed his wand at professor Umbridge, who fainted instantly.

Re:pet peeve (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045768)

Sounds like a spell from Harry Potter. "Obscruction!" he shouted. He pointed his wand at professor Umbridge, who fainted instantly.

Hey careful with that spell! It gave me a headache all the way over here. I'm pretty sure I lost brain cells just reading it! But JK Rolling-In-The-Money is happy....it increased her merchandise sales by 0.5%

Re:pet peeve (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045814)

Well, she deserves it, so good for her.

Re:pet peeve (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045924)

Well, she deserves it, so good for her.

No one deserves it. There are people who work 10 times as hard and create things that are of 100 times the value that aren't recognised that way. Most of them die poor and unrecognised. Popular Best.

Re:pet peeve (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046038)

Those people also deserve it but they do not get it. Life is unfair like that.

Re:pet peeve (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046078)

Those people also deserve it but they do not get it. Life is unfair like that.

No body deserves enough wealth to stave off starvation in a small province for a decade.

Re:pet peeve (2)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046260)

Why not? I can think of lots of people, most of them would be scientists though, rather than authors but I see no reason why people shouldn't be allowed amass vast wealth if they do something to better society. Especially if it's something like a book, where it's not exactly being greedy or anticompetitive and it's getting kids reading, that deserves lots of money :p

Face (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045678)

Seriously, why does this man's face have to be all over the internet for something as little as what he did? I hope for him he isn't looking for a job or something like that.

What's The News Here? (3)

Nukedoom (1776114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045696)

I don't understand what's so important about a drunk man dialing 911.

Dear Slashdot (2)

sunr2007 (2309530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045716)

There are many other things to post on science, hardware, tech, linux other than people calling 911 to fix broken iphone. really of all things iphone is so important. WTF has happened to /. . You're just posting stuff related to apple stuff for clicks n traffic. I'm so disappointed.

Re:Dear Slashdot (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045792)

Indeed, its pretty pathetic, even below idle. This kind of crap should never be on Slashdot.

No More Apple Bashing! (5, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045778)

Obviously the problem has NOTHING to do with the iPhone or its owner. The issue is why the 911 system is badly designed that this happens.

An emergency system like 911 really needs a solid and intuitive user interface that will prevent errors like this.

I look forward to the introduction of i911 on the upcoming iPhone 5.

Re:No More Apple Bashing! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045888)

i911? sounds complex.

Re:No More Apple Bashing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045902)

Here you go: http://www.activistpost.com/2011/11/our-brave-new-world-of-snitches-and.html - Hey, you asked for it.

Re:No More Apple Bashing! (2)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045940)

I see your activistpost.com and raise you Paroxysm.ca [paroxysms.ca] . Amazing fun with Freedom of Information requests!

Re:No More Apple Bashing! (2)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046308)

LEAVE STEVE ALONE

disperse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045780)

you just love decoder rings

Oh, another ad (0)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045790)

Oh look, another paid advertisement on Slashdot disguised as 'news'.

Enough about 911 (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045810)

Maybe we can turn this thread into a thread about something more interesting. For instance, I always wonder how humans managed to make very straight lines when in the beginning all they had was sticks and stones.

Re:Enough about 911 (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045926)

The quality of our sticks have gone down in the past 10,000 years. Poor quality control.

Re:Enough about 911 (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046098)

Do you mean straight lines in drawings, or straight lines in large works, or in things like blocks of stone? It's quite easy on the small scale, all you need is something string-like you can apply tension to. If you didn't have some sort of fiber, you could use a piece of stretched animal intestine. For larger scale things, you just put marker sticks in the ground and visually line them up. All you have to do is close one eye and look to see if they all disappear behind the front one if you stand in the right spot. Not that I'm claiming that it's easy to do in practice, but the ideas are quite simple. For blocks of stone, if you pick the right stone, and know what you're doing, you can get it to cleave along a very flat plane. If you're chiseling or wearing down the edge, you can use the previously mentioned stretched piece of gut as a guide and work your way along. Or, you can use a pre-existing hard flat surface and some hard grit, and grind down some sort of softer rock on it. Aside from those suggestions, I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to do these things if you're imaginative and good with your hands.

Re:Enough about 911 (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046156)

That is all true, but how do you get to something as simple as a ruler from there? The problem with the stretched piece of gut or hair is that it bends as soon as you touch it.

Re:Enough about 911 (1)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046306)

You could carve a straight enough ruler just by eye. If your any bit decent at art you can easily draw incredibly straight lines and pick the half way point almost exactly. I can pick the middle of a small item like a 2 foot bit of timber to within a couple of millimetres. Once you have a couple of semi-accurate markings it's a simple process to refine your measurement incrementally.

Did they fix it? (4, Funny)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045816)

Well, did the first-responders fix the phone or not? TFA doesn't say.

Re:Did they fix it? (3, Funny)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045930)

They had to jailbreak it.

Technology in the wrong hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045832)

This would be a textbook example of why the ability to use technology should be administered. That along with procreation. This guys parents should have been sterilized.

Arrested for a call (2)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045838)

The true absurdity of this story is that in the US non-violent drunk people are being arrested for petty stuff like that. Fine the guy and be done with it.

Re:Arrested for a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046052)

You do have to wonder... the idea is if they make the offence more serious that the crime rate will go down. They fail to realise the opposite is true. The more they attack the problem the more criminals they will have. Then they can make even harsher laws!

Re:Arrested for a call (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046102)

It's not that absurd. Here in the Netherlands we had many people abusing 112, as 911 is called here. This can cost lives, so t's now punished severely.

Re:Arrested for a call (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046128)

You think this drunk guy was rationally weighing the consequences of him dialing 911 and concluding to himself that the punishment is not that harsh so he'll just do it?

Re:Arrested for a call (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046194)

You can not punish individual people differently for the same crime.

RTFA (4, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046232)

Here is the pertinent quote;
"He was arrested because he would not follow the police officers orders."
He was not arrested for making the calls; he was arrested for being a drunken idiot when the police responded to the multiple 911 calls. They may have even taken him into custody for his own protection if he was that drunk.

Re:Arrested for a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046242)

Something similar (may have) happened to me back in my drinking days (now sober). I got a call from the police saying they got a 911 call from me. I don't remember making the call, but luckily somehow managed to tell them, no, I'm just fucking drunk out of my mind, sorry. Otherwise who knows, they'd probably be obligated to show up.

611? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045852)

Could have been as simple as trying being braindead about dialing 611 for the AT&T support.

Re:611? (1)

duggoc (1556161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046002)

upside-down phone + AT&T support = 911 So it's AT&T's fault!

Re:611? (1)

wygit (696674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046236)

That was actually my first thought. It seems like a really obvious mistake for someone drunk and a bit confused who wanted support for his phone.

Too stupid to live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045878)

People this stupid should really just be executed on the spot. The rest of us would just be so much better off.

Only deserved a fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38045946)

If someone calls 911 and it's not an accident (phone dials when in pocket, etc), and there is no emergency, there should be a fine associated with that, attached to the user's phone bill.

The 911 system is swamped with stupid calls which costs us money in man hours.

a $500 fine times 5 calls would mean a hard lesson to be learned. But he would learn it pretty damn quick. What's this - a $2572.58 phone bill... That would hurt much more and kill stupid calls like this much more quickly than being arrested for a night.

Re:Only deserved a fine (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046162)

But that would scare people away from calling 911. People often need to call the police about things that aren't immediate emergencies, but still need to reach them quickly and don't have the police phone number on hand. Sometimes those situations can turn into emergencies. So, generally what actually happens is that people calling 911 for non-emergencies don't get in trouble unless they keep calling and ignore warnings to stop.

What happened here is unclear. It's possible that this person really did call 911 for help with his phone. That seems unlikely though. It's more likely to be hyperbole on the part of those reporting it. Probably what happened is that he was trying to dial 611, or some other assistance number as others suggested and kept getting it wrong. Or, there might have been some sort of automatic emergency call feature that he kept accidentally activating and, when the 911 operator asked him why he was calling, he drunkenly explained that he was having trouble with his phone.

Personally, I'm always uncomfortable when I hear that someone was arrested for not following a police officers orders. The authority of the police to give orders to people is supposed to be very limited. If they had simply arrested him for making false emergency calls, I could see that. The fact that they didn't use that reason to arrest him suggests that they probably couldn't due to the circumstances. More likely, they were ordering him to come out of his house to talk to them or ordering him to let them into his house to search it, etc. Probably they have a policy to treat 911 hangups, etc. as emergencies by default (for example, kidnap victim managed to call 911 and the kidnapper snatched the phone away and hung up), giving them probable cause to search his house, etc. Still whenever I hear that someone has been arrested for the sole crime of not obeying police orders or resisting arrest it rankles me.

Why is this on Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38045974)

How exactly is this news for nerds?

In what possible way is this serious news of a technical nature, or anything that would interest the sort of people this website is supposed to be aimed at?

This should at the very least be in the Idle section.

Come on Slashdot Editors, do your job properly!

seconded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046024)

This article should not be front page on slashdot

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046072)

I'm more pissed off than confused as to why this made /. Maybe I'll diall 911 to find out why...and subsequently find my story on this site.

Reason (1)

Dokterdok (961082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38046218)

It is likely that he tried to call 911 to carrier-unlock his iPhone 4. This is apparently necessary with the Gevey Sim Unlock technique [iphone4jailbreak.org] .

Apple is the guilty one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38046240)

he should have called 911 when they robbed him and took his money and gave him that piece of crap. Now THAT should be a crime.

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