Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Butt dialing, gangsta rap misunderstanding causes S.W.A.T. team to respond

From today's Chicago Tribune:
Butt-dialing mistake sends SWAT team to Winnetka school

Worried wife calls police after she thinks her husband is being held hostage

In a spectacular misunderstanding sparked by an accidental cell phone call, a worried wife caused SWAT teams to swarm the Winnetka school where her husband works, officials said Tuesday.

The wife received the disturbing, garbled call from her husband's phone Monday evening, Winnetka police said.

"You know how when you sit on your phone when it's in your back pocket and it calls the last number that was dialed? His wife was the last number he'd dialed," said Winnetka police Chief Joseph De Lopez. "The conversation led her to believe there was someone holding him hostage."

In the popular vernacular, it was a butt dial, the bane of many a chagrined cell phone user. This time, it led to a frantic 911 call from a wife. Soon, more than 30 gun-toting officers converged on Carleton Washburne School, which also houses the District 36 offices where the man works.

"He was listening to music and he had, I don't know, hip-hop … or music like that, where there were lyrics that were gangster-like," explained Mark Friedman, interim co-superintendent of District 36. "So there were lyrics on the radio as he was driving home, and she listened to it and became concerned."

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