Some Still Unclear on Definition of “Emergency”

LTB logo

"They are giving me a hard time!" said a caller to the 911 dispatcher in East Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday.  What outrage had They perpetrated this time? "I specifically asked for little turkey, and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise," he said, but the resulting sandwich was not to his liking.

"You're calling 911 because you don't like the way that they're making your sandwich?" the dispatcher asked. "Exactly," he confirmed. The caller claimed that the employees at the Grateful Deli were "playing games" with him, although it was not clear what game or games had been played. He said the employees were sisters, and that the sister who had made the sandwich had left, so it may have been the old make-the-sandwich-incorrectly-and-then-leave-and-have-your-sister-claim-ignorance game. "I just want to solve this the right way," the caller said, though it's not clear what "wrong way" he might have been contemplating.

"Just don't buy the sandwich," the dispatcher suggested.

The deli's owner said that the man had actually ordered 14 sandwiches, but then did not want to pay for them. She insisted that they had been made according to his request. He seems to have calmed down and reconsidered, because the report says he later called to apologize and say that he would continue to do business with them, which they were probably real pleased to hear.

Also outraged this week: a Florida man who repeatedly called 911 to report that a strip club had refused to admit his kitten. According to a press release from the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, which apparently posts its press releases on Facebook along with your mugshot, a 47-year-old man was denied entry to a strip club in Port Charlotte because they would not let him in with a cat. (Yes, I thought of that joke. Not going there.) Instead of leaving, he sat down on the curb and called 911.

When deputies arrived, the man refused to leave and continued to call 911, despite the fact that deputies were standing next to him and telling him to stop calling 911. He insisted that the club owner had committed a crime, which may have been a confused reference to the idea that in some circumstances, an establishment cannot exclude service animals. That is true, generally speaking, and a kitten could conceivably qualify as a service animal (oh yes it could) depending on the disability involved and the other facts of the case. But a violation wouldn't be a crime, and based on the facts here, which, again, involved trying to take a kitten into a strip club, it wouldn't be a violation.

Trust me — I once refused to take an almost identical case for this very reason. It is a true fact.

Unsurprisingly, alcohol was involved in this case (though, surprisingly, not in the first one).  Man arrested, kitten unharmed. Dispatcher thoroughly irritated.