A young woman in Ohio called 9-1-1 to report that her mother was being abused, under the guise that she was ordering a pizza.
Tim Teneyck, a 911 dispatcher based in the city of Oregon, Ohio, was able to decode what the woman was saying and is now being praised for his quick-thinking.
When the young woman first tried to order the pizza, Teneyck was confused and believed she had dialed the wrong number, as that's a fairly common occurrence among emergency dispatchers.
However, when the woman insisted again that she wanted to order a pizza, the dispatcher realized she must be in trouble and began to put the situation together.
Instead of asking her for additional information directly, he asked her simple "yes" and "no" questions that would be fairly convincing while ordering a pizza.
"Is the other guy still there?"
The woman replied:
"Yep. I need a large pizza."
You can listen to their exchange here:
Daughter Of Domestic Abuse Victim Disguises Call To 911 As A Pizza Order | NBC Nightly News youtu.be
Once Teneyck had enough information about the woman's location, he informed the police and instructed them to turn off their sirens before nearing the house, to avoid tipping off the offender inside.
Upon arrival at the home, the police were able to arrest 56-year-old Simon Lopez after he had punched and kicked the young woman's mother.
Lopez was charged on November 13th with counts of domestic violence and disorderly conduct while intoxicated. Lopez denied the allegations but remains in jail.
Since the arrest, Teneyck has been praised for his work as a 911-dispatcher and for his quick-thinking and deciphering skills during this particular call.
The city of Oregon Police Chief Michael Navarre praised Teneyck, stating:
"He picked up on a woman who was in distress, but was in a position where she couldn't convey it to him in those words. And then he was able to ask her all the right questions without putting her in harm's way."
Twitter has been praising Teneyck's work, as well, grateful that the young woman and her mother are safe.
@BuzzFeedNews Two very smart and resourceful people. Brava!— Lovehersports50 (@Lovehersports50)1574538685.0
@BuzzFeedNews Buy that dispatcher a pizza!! 👍— HoracePoindexter3 (@HoracePoindexter3)1574538407.0
@BuzzFeedNews Good job Tim, well done !— Ainsley Duncombe (@Ainsley Duncombe)1574687958.0
@AuthorKimberley @BrandiLynn4Ever Brilliant 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻— Roberta 🌴🏄🏽♀️ (@Roberta 🌴🏄🏽♀️)1574550895.0
@AuthorKimberley @disgruntled_old Good to keep in mind.— ELIZABETH Marchesini -Cruz (@ELIZABETH Marchesini -Cruz)1574558649.0
Teneyck is mostly concerned at this point that other offenders may catch on to the pizza story and is worried that future calls won't have such a happy ending.
"The best thing to do is just have an open phone line and say as much as you can - address and names - until we can figure it all out."
Some police departments now also offer a texting option, which may be easier to conceal from an offender in some situations.
Though it's always horrifying that these calls have to be made at all, it's helpful to know some of these tips that can help make the process of calling for help safer for someone who may be in the middle of a dangerous situation.