Audio: Lakewood Man Dials 911 To Report Drug Dealer On Corner, Realizes During Call That Suspect Is Just A Sign


In a hyper-vigilant fight against drugs, a Lakewood man dialed 911 on Sunday evening to report there was a man dealing at a busy intersection. But he realized, midway through the call, that he may not have all his information correct.

The call details showed up in the Lakewood police blotter, and included the dispatcher's fantastic narrative: "MALE STANDING ON THE CORNER IN A WHITE T SHIRT - THINKS HE MIGHT BE DEALING DRUGS / CALLER ASKED TO DISREGARD AND SAID IT WAS NOT A PERSON AND IT WAS JUST A SIGN THAT HE WAS SEEING."


Scene obtained the audio from that call this morning and, yup, it's exactly as it was described.


The caller's confidence begins to unravel about a minute in when the dispatcher asks the race of the suspect. After a long pause, the man realizes he may have it all wrong, dejectedly changing his story: "Ummm, I cant tell... you know what, I'm sorry, I think I might have a sign. That's not a person, I don't know what my son's doing up there."

Here's a transcription of the call:

Dispatcher: "9-1-1, what's the address of your emergency?"

Caller: "It's not an emergency, but it's Madison and west—"

Dispatcher: "Can I get you to hold on a second if it's not an emergency?"

Caller: "alright"


Dispatcher: "Ok, I apologize. Where are you at?"

Caller: "Woodward and Madison, there is a man in a white t-shirt and I believe he's dealing drugs on the corner."

Dispatcher: "Did you see drugs, or — what do you see?"

Caller: "You wanna know the truth, my son just walked in a loopty loop around there."

Dispatcher: "He said Woodward and Madison?"

Caller: "Yeah, and he's wearing a white t-shirt right on the corner."

Dispatcher: "White, black or hispanic? (pause) Is he white, black or hispanic, sir?"

Caller: "Ummm, I can't tell. (pause) You know what, I'm sorry, I think I might have a sign."

Dispatcher: "You might have what?"

Caller: "That's not a person, I don't know what my son's doing up there. I'm sorry, can we cancel that?"

Dispatcher: "Ok, so it's not a person that's standing there?"

Caller: "No, it's my fault, my son's playing games with me. I'll take care of it."

Dispatcher: "So you don't need an officer for anything?"

Caller: "No thanks."

Dispatcher: "Ok."

Caller: "Sorry"

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Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...
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