dial 77

  1. >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > > > Cell Phone Feature #77 on your cell phone. I never even knew about
    > > > this
    > > > > #77 feature! This actually happened to
    > > > > someone's daughter. Lauren was 19 yrs old and in college. This
    > >story
    > > > takes
    > > > > place during the Christmas/New Year's holiday break. It was the
    > > > Saturday
    > > > > before New Year's and it was about 1 PM in the afternoon and
    > >Lauren
    > > > was
    > > > > driving to visit a friend.
    > > > > An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on.
    > > > > Lauren's parents have 4 children (high school and college age) and
    > > > have
    > > > > always told them never to pull over for an unmarked car on the
    > >side of
    > >
    > > > the
    > > > > road, but rather wait until they get to a gas station, etc. So
    > >Lauren
    > >
    > > > had
    > > > > actually listened to her parent's advice, and promptly called #77
    > >on
    > > > her
    > > > > cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull
    > >over
    > > > > right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an
    > > > > unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop
    > >behind
    > > > her.
    > > > > The dispatcher checked to see if there was a police car where she
    > >was
    > > > and
    > > > > there wasn't and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that
    > >he
    > > > had
    > > > > back-up already on the way. Ten minutes later 4 cop cars
    > >surrounded
    > > > her
    > > > > and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side
    > >and
    > > > the
    > > > > others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car
    > >and
    > >
    > > > > tackled him to the ground..........the man was a convicted rapist
    > >and
    > > > > wanted for other crimes.
    > > > >
    > > > > I never knew that bit of advice, but especially for a woman alone
    > >in a
    > >
    > > > > car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car.
    > > > > Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a
    > >"safe"
    > >
    > > > > place. You obviously need to make some signals that you
    > >acknowledge
    > > > them
    > > > > (i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call #77 like Lauren did.
    > > > >
    > > > > Too bad the cell phone companies don't give you this little bit of
    > > > > wonderful information. So now it's your turn to let your friends
    > >know
    > > > > about #77.
    > > > >
    > > > > This is good information that I did not know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    > > > >
    > > > > Please pass this on to any females that you know.

    ok. i didn't see this on the urban legends sight. got it in an e-mail though. true or false???????????
  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    Er...why couldn't you accomplish the same thing by calling 911?
  4. by   Little One2
    Yes, I seen this before.

    I actually received this in an email. It was quite interesting and an eye opener. Need to be careful when you are out driving alone. Especially in unknown territory.
  5. by   Hardknox
    I checked this out on Snopes.com to see if it was an urban legend but it is true. I quote:

    Origins: We have no way of telling if this is an "actual true story and not one of those Internet stories that are passed on and on" -- the details given in the account aren't sufficient to assist us in confirming the tale, and searches through online news databases based on what little is included (that the incident happened in Virginia in the last week of December 2001) don't fetch any articles about an arrest made or charges laid in such a case. And some of the details in the story give us pause: Why didn't the fleeing woman speed up, flash her lights, or honk her horn to attract the attention of the police car in front of her? And how did the real police car fail to notice the warning lights of the phony, unmarked police car?

    Whether this particular tale is true or not, women driving alone have been sexually assaulted by rapists pretending to be police officers, so the advice it gives (to not pull over in deserted areas when signaled to do so by an unmarked police vehicle) is well worth heeding. Keep driving until you get to a well-lit area where there are others about. Call 911 and tell them what's happening. (Although in at least in some U.S. states, #77 on a cell phone will immediately connect you to that state's highway patrol, that code is not universal. Some states use #77, but others use *55, *47, or *HP, and some don't have any special code at all. Rather than frantically try to figure out which one will work in the area you're in, get around the problem by going straight to 911.)

    The instance of rapists and murderers pretending to be police officers is not of epidemic proportions, but enough incidents of this nature have occurred that precautions are warranted.

    In 1948 in Los Angeles, Caryl Chessman successfully robbed couples and sexually assaulted a number of women in California after first fooling them into believing he was a police officer by flashing a red light at their vehicles. (Though often he approached parked cars this way, in at least one case he managed to pull over a car that was driving on Pacific Coast Highway.) His method of approach earned him the nickname of "The Red Light Bandit." Chessman was executed on a kidnapping charge in 1960, but only after gaining fame for writing three books while in prison (most notably Cell 2455 Death Row) and becoming the focus of the then nascent movement to abolish the death penalty.

    Since then others have used similar ruses to isolate their victims. More recently, in 1997 Arkansas was plagued by its "blue light rapist" who assaulted three women after first luring them to the side of the road with the help of a police-style blue light mounted on his car. Robert Todd Burmingham was sentenced in 1998 to 80 years in prison for rape, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.

    In 2000, a Tampa woman was sexually assaulted by a man who had put a flashing blue and red light atop his car and motioned her off the road as if he was a police officer. After she admitted she had been drinking, he offered to drive her home; she got into his car, and he took her to an isolated location where he raped her. That case is still open.

    Someone who has taken to impersonating a police officer for nefarious purposes is counting upon his intended victim's unquestioning cooperation. Because he appears in the guise of a trusted authority figure whose commands must be obeyed, he expects automatic reaction to kick in even if it overrides common sense. That could prove a fatal error to make.

    In 1996 Governor Pataki issued an executive order to prevent unmarked New York state police cars from stopping motorists for routine traffic violations, citing "a growing number of cases around the country in which criminals trap their victims by posing as police officers." If he's worried about it, you should be too.

    Barbara "worry thwart" Mikkelson

    Last updated: 29 April 2002

    The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/horrors/mayhem/fakecop.htm
  6. by   fab4fan
  7. by   RN2B2005

    This is a dangerous urban myth. If you are driving alone and are signalled by a police officer to pull over while in a remote area, reduce your speed and drive slowly until you reach a lighted area like a gas station. If you need assistance, dial 911. In some areas #77 may work, but 911 always works.

    This "true story" has been circulating the Internet for years. Note the lack of real detail; no identifiers (surname, town, police department, byline, etc.), just "someone's daughter", and a lot of pseudo-detail. A simple Google search would have told you that this is a crock.

    Circulating stuff like this is stupid at best and irresponsible at worst. If you get a "Pass this on!!" e-mail, delete it.
  8. by   RNonsense
    My hubby is a communications officer for a washington state police dept...he says 911.
  9. by   cindyln
    That was kind of harsh RN2B, calling tiger stupid and irresponsible for passing that along. Even if it is an urban legend at least it got me and maybe others thinking what they would actually do in this matter. Before reading this I probably would have stopped but now I will be on my cell phone.
  10. by   tiger
    thanks! i really wasn't interested if the story was true, but about the dial 77 part. i've got to snoop around that urban legends site and learn where to look for particular "tales". i totally missed the malicious mayhem section!
  11. by   fab4fan
    tiger: All I did to pull it up was go into search and enter "#77" and that brought the page up.
  12. by   tiger
    ok fab--i'll try the search button next time. and thnx cindy. i knew someone on here would know rhe truth. that is why i asked.
  13. by   RN2B2005
    I didn't call tiger stupid, cindyln. My own mother forwards stuff like this to me all the time. I said that the act of circulating this kind of flotsam is stupid.

    Tiger was doing what she thought best, as do many hundreds of thousands of people, which is why this stuff doesn't go away.
  14. by   Hardknox
    The how come snopes.com says the story is true? I printed it out for you and fab4fans link says it is a true story and a good response.

    Did you know that if you dial 911 on your cell phone that you have to know the location you are at because cell phones do not have enhanced 911 that allows them to locate you like a wired phone does? A woman in MA was driving herself to a hospital in active labor, She had to pull off to a rest stop on Rte.95. They could not locate her, she didn't know which rest stop it was and she ended up delivering the baby herslelf. The police found her after she delivered. And this is NOT an urban legend it was on all the Boston TV stations and in the newspapers.

    Thanks for the heads up,Tiger.