Home / National News / Drunk Driver Pocket-Dials 911, Leading to Own Arrest


(TACOMA, Wash.) — A 47-year-old man in Tacoma, Wash. mistakenly pocket-dialed 911 not once but twice while driving drunk in what police said was a suspected stolen car. They soon caught up with him and arrested him.

Police are not releasing his name until he is charged, but say he is homeless.

The first 911 call came at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Police said their dispatcher heard a screaming woman in the background and a man telling her to stop. According to Tacoma police, the call was traced to a street where officers saw a car run a red light.

Police tried to pull the car over. The driver did stop momentarily, and the woman passenger got out of the car and ran. The man then drove away, with police in pursuit.

Police say the suspect eventually stopped the car and ran on foot. A police dog on the scene was unsuccessful in finding the man. The vehicle, registered in Vancouver, Wash., allegedly contained several shaved keys, which led police to believe it was stolen.

“The vehicle is registered in Vancouver, but belongs to a woman who goes to school in Tacoma,” said Mark Fulghum, public information officer for the Tacoma Police Department. He said she did not even know her car was gone until police woke her up to tell her what happened.

At approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday, the same cellphone dialed 911 again, leading police to trace the call a second time. When they arrived, they say they found an intoxicated couple sitting inside a different vehicle than the one that ran the red light the night before.

The man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and violating a no-contact order, but only booked for the no-contact order, which had been issued after a complaint by the woman with whom he had been riding.  She was arrested as well on outstanding warrants.

Police said the man did not realize that his phone had dialed 911 either time, but according to Fulghum, the cellphone contract was not active and the phone could only dial emergency numbers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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