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SWAT team besieges Illinois school in 'butt dialling' incident

Touchscreen buttock hip-hop blabber SOS error

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An Illinois man prompted a full-scale SWAT intervention on Monday afternoon by inadvertently "butt-dialling" his wife, who quickly became convinced the "garbled" call was evidence he was being held hostage.

The unnamed chap was driving home from his job at Carleton Washburne School in Winnetka when "his touch screen phone accidentally dialed his wife's number", as ABC puts it.

Winnetka Deputy Police Chief Patrick Kreis explained: "He was just talking to himself and the way the phone was positioned, it was somewhat muffled. She misunderstood him to be under duress."

The man's boss, school district co-superintendent Mark Friedman, elaborated: "He had the radio up and was listening to lyrics of hip-hop music or something like that, and she heard bits and pieces of it and misinterpreted the lyrics to think that he was in trouble."

Cue a 911 call and a 30-man SWAT cordon around Washburne School, which was unoccupied at the time apart from a few members of staff.

After a tense half hour, the drama ended without the need to storm the building. Kreis said: "The first indication that it might be a misunderstanding was 30 minutes after police were initially dispatched. He arrived home and his wife reported to us via 911 that he arrived home safely."

Armed operatives nonetheless searched the school for two hours as a precaution.

Friedman described his employee as "pretty devastated" and "shaken up" by his butt-dialling mishap. ®

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