Woman who received garbled call thought husband was being held hostage
SWAT teams swarmed a Chicago-area school Monday evening after some hip-hop music and an accidental phone call led a woman to believe her husband was being held hostage, officials said.
Toting automatic weapons and clad in riot gear, SWAT team members stormed the Winnetka, Ill., school where the woman's husband works and searched it for nearly three hours — all because of a so-called "butt-dial."
"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," Winnetka Police Chief Joseph De Lopez told the Chicago Tribune.
"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," said Mark Friedman, the school district's superintendent. "So there were lyrics on the radio as he was driving home, and she listened to it and became concerned."
The wife, who was not identified, told 911 that when she received the call, she could not get her husband to respond, reported Pioneer Local, leading her to believe he was being held hostage by a gunman in his office.
The sweep at the Carleton Washburne School ended when the man was found safe at home by police, the Tribune reported. The man, who is an administrative employee at the school, declined to comment on the situation.
"He's embarrassed," Superintendent Friedman told the Tribune. "Who wouldn't be? He's taking it hard that it created such a response."
The 500 students who attend the middle school had left for the day by the time the 30 officers, some in bulletproof vests and helmets with face shields, arrived.
Winnetka police had no estimate of how much was spent on resources during the false alarm. After both the employee and his wife were interviewed by investigators, it was deemed that there was no intent to deceive police. No charges will be filed.