Cops have to put up with a lot. In addition to risking their neck attempting to stop us doing naughty things, they also have to put up with people when we are at our most idiotic. This can mean rescuing trapped idiots, corralling drunk idiots or listening to the ramblings of scared idiots. As any officer will tell you, the idiot spectrum is broad.
Of course, anyone can make a mistake and find themselves in an awkward situation. But it takes a special kind of idiot who thinks that food, at least in most contexts, is something that’s worth bothering the law about. We all know that wasting police time is supposed to be a criminal offence. That doesn't seem to have put these people off.
1. Missing Nuggets
A lack of chicken nuggets is enough to make anyone angry. In some situations, you could even understand how it could lead to a desperate call for law enforcement. But calling 911 three times? In 2009, a Floridian woman did just that, before trying to claim that her local McDonald’s running out of chicken was an “emergency”, according to reporting from Fox News. She was unsurprisingly cited for misuse of 911.
2. BART Burrito
In June this year, a video showing a tense exchange on Bay Area Rapid Transit. Tempers were flared and insults were flung. The cause? A man who had the temerity to eat his burrito on the train. In the clip, a man can be seen chastising his fellow passenger, before dialing 911 and declaring that, “We’ve got somebody dining. He’s eating on the train”. Though food is indeed banned on BART, we imagine that the police had better things to do with their time.
3. Orange Jumpsuit
Waking up with a fresh glass of OJ is the only reasonable way to start the day, so it’s understandable that someone might be upset to find that theirs is missing. What’s less reasonable is the decision to call the police, then go back to the McDonald’s where you picked up your breakfast, block the drive thru and bang on the windows waving an empty cup. Yet, that’s exactly what an Oregonian did in 2009, according to the Associated Press. When the police did finally arrive, it was he who ended up behind bars.
4. The Right Burger
Burger King are famous for claiming that all customers can “have it your way”. This motto was sorely put to the test by a woman in California, who called the cops after her local Burger King failed to deliver on their promise. Bemused officers were at a loss as to how they could help the woman, however, with one dispatcher demanding to know, “What exactly are we protecting you from? A wrong cheeseburger?”
5. Disappointing Dim Sum
There are few things worse than spending money on a takeaway, only to discover that what you’ve been presented with is a sub-par excuse for food. Even that, however, is no excuse to bother the police. One Ohio woman seems not to have got the memo. In an attempt to get a refund for her dinner, she called 911 claiming her dinner was not “up to par”, according to USA Today. Though she was arrested by officers, she did eventually get her money back - a victory, of sorts.
6. Baked Brownies
It’s not just the public who can find themselves in a pickle with the police. In 2006, a Michigan cop and his wife called 911, believing that they were overdosing on homemade, pot-laced brownies. Somewhat controversial, the couple escaped punishment for their antics, leading many to wonder why it was a) ok for a cop to waste police time, and b) what a policeman was doing with marijuana.
Food can on occasion be frustrating. But, if this collection proves anything, it’s that annoyance is no reason to dial 911. No matter how disappointed you are with your dinner, you’ll be better off keeping the cops out of it. It’ll only be embarrassing.