Man Butt Dials 911 While Discussing Murder Plot

from the those-phones-are-getting-smarter-all-the-time dept

We've had plenty of stories of dumb criminals being caught in surprising ways thanks to new technology. Particularly common are the criminals who confess via the internet. However, this next one is a new one: a Florida man named Scott Simon just happened to butt dial 911 at the very moment he was discussing plans to kill someone -- plans he followed through on moments later. It did not take long for the police to put two and two together and arrest Simon -- though, they're still looking for others who were with him. Of all the possible places that the phone could have accidentally dialed, it seems rather convenient that 911 was what it ended up on. Those "smartphones" really can be smart sometimes.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 7:08am

    And THIS is why...

    I make sure my phone isn't in my pants.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Christopher Best (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 7:21am

    Or you could just, I don't know, not murder people.

    :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Re:

    But that would be reasonable!

    :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:13am

    "Those "smartphones" really can be smart sometimes."

    Not smart, it's just basic survival instinct. If you were stuck next to someone else's butt, you'd dial 911 too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    average_horse_of_the_blue, May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:34am

    At no point in this story does Mike say that murder is wrong. He's a murderer apologist. He parses words. Words bad.

    He's words apolologist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anon, May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:42am

    His phone is probably password locked, but allows emergency calls (to 911) even if the phone is locked. I've accidentally dialed 911 on other phones before (which is why I don't keep my phone in my back pocket anymore). Fortunately I was at work, and not discussing murder plans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Griffdog (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:47am

    not so unusual

    I carry my blackberry in my front pocket with the keyboard locked, and I still manage to butt dial 911 nearly every month. The phone allows making an "Emergency Call" even when it's supposed to be "locked", a feature that cannot be disabled. Doesn't require pushing any of the keyboard buttons, just the big roller ball. I'm sure it's supposed to be a "feature," but it's sure embarrassing when a very loud voice comes from my pocket asking me the nature of my emergency. Happened three times in one hour, once. I've since learned of a second way to lock the phone, but it gets disabled after receiving a call, so I still make an occassional accidental call to 911 when I forget to re-engage the lockout.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    David Muir (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:54am

    The last thing we need is the 911 call centers clogged up with even more "non-emergency" calls. It is already a real problem when people dial on purpose and want to complain about their neighbor's dog barking for the last three hours. Of course it's okay if the nature of the call is: "If that dog doesn't shut up I will kill myself and then the rest of the neighborhood. Or something."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Jessie (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Well, I tried it out for everyone. Siri does not understand "I'm going to kill my wife". So don't worry, it's still safe to use Siri to help you plot your next murder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 23rd, 2013 @ 9:31am

    911

    Has anyone noticed that 911 was called to report that a murder was about to happen and THE MURDER STILL HAPPENED?

    For all the complaining from law enforcement that they need to be able to record and listen to communications to protect us, it does not seem to do much good even when they are given the opportunity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    You win 10000 internets today

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    PRMan, May 23rd, 2013 @ 9:53am

    Why didn't they prevent it?

    Maybe they didn't prevent it because it happened "a couple minutes later".

    Another interesting fact: They are not releasing the 911 call. Was there even a call or is this always-on spying?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, May 23rd, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Re: 911

    Well to be fair, apparently it did lead to quick apprehension of the criminal who performed the act. I don't believe the ends in this case justify monitoring everyone's communications though.

    What you are talking about (preventing the crime) is something movies are made of (Minority Report), and even in the movies it proved to be a bad idea to punish people for what they think about doing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Doug D (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Why didn't they prevent it?

    As the pro-gun argument goes, "When seconds count, the police are just minutes away." As I don't know any of the circumstances I'm not saying the victim owning a gun would have prevented this murder, but the cops knew it was going to happen and still were only able to get there after the fact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    cosmicrat (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Could be a technique for law enforcement

    Given how easy it is to butt dial 911 on certain phones, I'm almost certain that is the case here. But it raises a question. Could the police (or FBI, CIA, Blackwater, etc.) be listening on a phone, in which case such evidence is not admissible in court (unless warranted) and then, at a crucial moment, remotely trigger the phone to dial 911, thus capturing a recording that would be admissible? The defendant would have a hard time proving he didn't butt dial.

    BTW I know Blackwater changed their name to Xe and most recently to Academi. Blackwater just sounds so much cooler.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    He probably had the phone locked, most smart phones have a couple presses on the lock screen to dial 911.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Jesse (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    What you ask is simply too much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 23rd, 2013 @ 2:50pm

    911...

    ...is a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 23rd, 2013 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: 911

    So that whole "protect and serve" line is nothing but a gimmick?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 23rd, 2013 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Could be a technique for law enforcement

    I'm fairly certain your tinfoil hat is crooked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    pjcamp, May 23rd, 2013 @ 7:49pm

    Roadmap

    I guess this gives us a roadmap to the lumps in his ass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, May 24th, 2013 @ 3:28am

    Re: Re: Re: 911

    I wouldn't call "Protect and Serve" a gimmick. I don't think it means what it used to mean either.

    You have to remember that cell phones are not like land lines, there is no known service address. So depending on several factors including the exact model of the phone, and what features are turned on, the equipment that the 911 system utilized - and even the location where the call took place the information immediately available could be quite limited. There is no "respond here" address.

    They may well have had to contact the carrier to get the owner information, as well as triangulation information, which depending on location may yield an area as big as two or three city blocks for them to search. Granted they can do this fairly quickly, but it still takes time and according to the article the 911 called occurred just moments before the murder.

    I am not saying they couldn't have arrested him before he committed the murder, but they couldn't have charged him with murder either, only conspiracy to commit. I am also saying depending on location and equipment available to the local PD it could take time to locate the phone that made the call.

    It simply is not realistic to say, "they received the call they should have prevented the murder".

    Think of it like baseball. You know the batter is going to hit the ball, but the other team doesn't always catch the ball. Sometime the batter even gets a home run.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 24th, 2013 @ 3:38am

    Re: Re: Re: 911

    "To protect and to serve is a myth to us
    They protect their s*** and serve sticks to us."
    -Paris

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    eclecticdave (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 6:14am

    Re:

    "If that dog doesn't shut up I will kill myself and then the rest of the neighborhood"

    At first I felt sure there was a flaw there somewhere ...

    ... then I realised - your way is better!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    eclecticdave (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Why didn't they prevent it?

    As I also don't know the details I can't say for certain if the murder NOT owning a gun would have prevented this murder...

    Just sayin'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    eclecticdave (profile), May 24th, 2013 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Why didn't they prevent it?

    Errm, murderer not owning a gun, I mean!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    pao, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

    GOOD thing I put my cp inside the bag ....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This