Legal Grounds: 911 calls Archives
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10 Dumb Reasons to Call 911

As 911 dispatchers will tell you, there are plenty of dumb 911 calls out there. It seems many callers often don't quite understand what constitutes an "emergency."

Calling 911 is no joke, though. For example, "swatting" (i.e., getting the SWAT team called to someone's house on a bogus crime report) is dangerous and can get you arrested. Same goes with making too many 911 calls or otherwise abusing the system.

However, that didn't stop some of these people, who made our list of the 10 dumbest reasons to call 911...

Man Calls 911 Over Jell-O Theft at Work

A Pennsylvania man frantically dialed 911 after someone at work allegedly stole his Jell-O from the work refrigerator.

The furious (and apparently famished) 39-year-old called the cops to report the theft of his beloved artificially flavored gelatinous snack.

But can the colleague actually face criminal charges for stealing the man's Strawberry-flavored Jell-O?

Status Update: If No 911, do We Facebook in an Emergency?

Ready or not, we are Facebook nation. Or nearly. In light of a new survey from the old school emergency service provider the Red Cross, it appears many of us now turn to social media like Facebook, Twitter or to a website in an emergency. Yes, in a real life, call-911-type of emergency, 1 in 5 people surveyed said if they couldn't get 911, they would Facebook the police, fire, or their high school boyfriend, whoever was actually looking at the status update when it came in.

According to the American Red Cross, in an online survey of 1,058 adults, one in five would try to contact first responders through digital options such as email, websites or social media. That is a bit worrisome, but it gets a little worse than that. Of those polled, 35 percent would post a request for help directly on a response agency's Facebook page and 28 percent would send a direct Twitter message to responders. Let's hope the EMT's are not actually on an emergency call and thus not checking their Facebook page or Twitter account at the time.

Too Shy to Ask For a Date? Call 911

A 43 year old Ohio woman decided to try out a new kind of speed dating and wound up facing charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated. Bernadette Music, (cool name by the way) was booked into Hamilton County jail for the incident. But what was her crime? Didn't you read the headline?

Music allegedly called 911 multiple times while she was drunk and asked the dispatchers to help her find a date. Apparently she was otherwise too shy to ask for a date. This tied up dispatchers who could have been attending to more pressing matters, like oh say, fires, murders, robberies, that sort of thing. In response, police were sent to her residence to investigate the calls. The dispatcher, meanwhile, assisted in a little sting operation. She discussed Music's difficulties in finding dates, whether some people are too thin and the challenges of finding a date without money.

Child Tazed with Mom's Approval; Cop Suspended for not Filming It

"Honey? Are you ready for your shower and bedtime?"

"No! I don't wanna!"

"You better, or I'll call the police and have them arrest you and taze you."

".... ummm, what?"

An Arkansas woman called the police on her 10-year-old daughter who was throwing a tantrum and refused to take a shower. Not only did the police come and attempt to bring order to the screaming pre-teen, but when the mother allegedly told the officer that he could taze the girl if he needed to, he obliged.

Shrimp Shortage in Fried Rice Prompts 911 Call

Fortune: Follow Your Instincts This Week and You Will Become a Nationwide Laughingstock 

A Texas woman on Monday called 911 to complain about the amount of shrimp she received in a fried rice dish at a Fort Worth restaurant. According to the Associated Press, on a tape of the 911 call the customer can be heard asking the operator, "to get a police officer up here, what has to happen?" Well, let's see. Not. This.

By the time police officers actually did arrive, the woman had left the scene, taking her meal and its "criminal" shrimp-to-rice ratio with her. 

According to restaurant cook June Lee, there was nothing out of ordinary with the entree. Lee added, "Some customers are happy. Some are not." And some end up as the lead story in the "From the Idiot Files" sections of news websites nationwide.