911? Hello?

My hubby and I were driving tonight when he turns onto fountain to get us home. Apparently, the hummer coming the other direction thought we were going too slow and decided to flash his brights at us– for about 30 seconds. One thing led to another, and this ridiculous driver followed us home. Eventually, I had to call 911 because this person was threatening us, etc. etc. Pretty standard LA stuff, especially coming from a driver of a Hummer, but when I called, just to be safe, I was immediately put on hold and told by a recording that my call was not an emergency. Somehow, I guess, this magical machine knew that we were not yet being pummeled by this huge, disgusting idiot. It somehow knew that he had not yet completely cornered us until his friends came and they all beat us into unrecognizable forms. My question is, how the f*ck did it know that, and why is it EVER okay for 911 to put someone on hold??? Also, is this only in L.A? Because that is just frightening.

10 thoughts on “911? Hello?”

  1. Oh… I see. that makes sense, but it’s still no excuse for that! What if I were dying? That’s still unacceptable, but at least they have an excuse. And yes, we were okay. We managed to park the car and run into our house. Fun stuff! Thanks for the concern. It’s nice to know there are nice people in this city, somewhere…

  2. Do what I do if you are being followed. Drive into the lower deck of the Rampart Police Station. The person following you will never reconize that its a police station, since there is only one sign out front that 3 by 2 feet! Hopefully there is a cop walking out to his car and let him know whats going on. Works every time!

  3. DId he flash his lights because yours weren’t on or were on parking lights? I doubt anyone coming towards you flashes because you’re too slow. What’s the “one thing led to another”–what happened? The Hummer turned around on Fountain (a U turn while you guys just sat there?) Somehow this story isn’t very plausible. Were you in the house when you called or on your cell? Most Hummer I see are driven by gangbangers, so what was the real story here? How did you get rid of the guy?

  4. One thing I saw in a movie once that I really want to try is to go to a very busy intersection, and wait at a left turn signal. Let the signal turn green and just wait there. Everyone will start honking their horns and getting pissed off. Then, when the signal turns into a mature yellow, gun it and make the turn. They won’t get a chance to follow you.

    A person I know got into an accident because someone was following her for miles, harrassing her and threatening her. That is the worst. It should be considered an act of terrorism in my opinion.

  5. Agh, my worst encounter being tailgated and harrassed by an irate motorist began at Wilshire and Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills and ended ended after I parked on La Cienega just south of Wilshire. Instead of going on his way he blockboxed me in so I got out to defend myself. Somehow I wound up in jail for assault. Long ago dark days, baby. But at least the charges were eventually dropped and now I just do as the wise Rachell above does.

  6. something very similar happen to me over the summer. I witnessed [from a distance] a domestic disputeÖ that ended in gunfire. i couldnít believe i was put on hold. apparently, that magical machine isnít so great at determining emergencies from non-emergencies.

    anyhow, there is an trick to avoid being placed on hold. i dial international emergency phone numbers, like 112 or 08. i guess if a foreigner calls in, itís a REAL emergency.

  7. While saddened to hear of the circumstances that sparked this message thread, I was equally dismayed by some of the advice or suggestions that were offered. While some of the insight was absolutelyu spot-on:

    Maybe you wouldn’t have to be put on hold if people didn’t call 911 with their new cellphones on Christmas Day

    ..others were clearly misguided:

    If you call 911 from your cell phone, you’ll be connected to the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento.

    Only if you are in Sacramento! The routing of emergency cell phone calls is undergoing a major change in California. Unless their is a technical problem with your wireless provider, your cellular phone call to 9-1-1 should be routed (at this time) to the *regional* CHP Dispatch center. Upon determining the nature of your request, they will either assist you or route your call to the appropriate local Emergency Services agency. Without pulling the logging tapes, its hard to know if your call was “stuck” at the CHP or LAPD. A blind suggestion to use a Sheriff’s (?) phone number for any or all emergencies could be equally harmful, especially if that number is not designed for emergencies, staffed full time – or if you are not in a Sheriff’s jurisdiction! Don’t for a New York minute think of programming a “alternate” number into your cell phone unless you have obtained specific knowledge regarding its use and limitations from the agency involved. To do otherwise could be a fatal mistake.

    John’s suggestion:

    there is an trick to avoid being placed on hold. i dial international emergency phone numbers, like 112 or 08. i guess if a foreigner calls in, itís a REAL emergency.

    ..was ANYTHING but wise! I don’t mean to be blunt John, but when wer’re talking about emergencies and peoples lives in the balance, we have to stick to the truth. Your “trick” is not only something that won’t work – but also may delay the emergency help.

    It is indeed prudent and resonable for every Los Angeles resident to know the location of their Neighborhood Fire Station and Community Police Station. Emergency help and assistance with urgent matters is likely to be found at the former, and the latter is always staffed. Simply walk or drive to one of those locations whenever you need help or assistance. To find your Neighborhood Fire Station and Community Police Station in the City of Los Angeles, simply click on the link below:


    If you would like a presentation from Los Angeles Police Department experts regarding 9-1-1 to your neighborhood or business group, please click here or call their Communications Division Community Relations Unit directly at: (213)485-8503.

    When lives hang in the balance, you need facts and not hearsay!

    With warmest wishes for a Safe and Happy New Year!

    Brian Humphrey
    Public Information Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    LAFD Home Page: http://www.lafd.org

    LAFD E-Newsletter: http://www.lafd.org/info.htm

    LAFD Blog: http://www.lafd.org/blog.htm

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