A telemarketer turned into a hero after saving a woman from a domestic abuse situation over 900 miles away.
Sales caller Chamille McElroy, an employee for Americare Health in Las Vegas, Nevada, placed a cold call to a mobile phone number in Oregon. But instead of hearing “Hello,” McElroy heard a woman screaming and the sounds of a violent struggle.
The 33-year-old woman on the other end of the telemarketer call had her cell phone in her back pocket, and it was inadvertently — and fortunately — answered during an assault by her boyfriend, 33-year-old Walter Warren Ruck.
Telemarketer McElroy immediately alerted her line manager, and then Americare CEO Mario Gonzalez. It’s reported that workers could hear the woman literally screaming for her life, shouting, “Please don’t kill me.”
The sales company acted promptly by passing along the details of the call and the woman’s address to local police in Lebanon, located in Linn County, Oregon. Police quickly responded to the address, where they heard a man voice telling the woman to “be quiet.” When officials opened the door to the residence, the woman ran out.
Officers arrested Ruck, who was charged on Thursday with fourth-degree assault and strangulation. His initial court date is set for February 17.
Investigators report that the woman had been held down with her head and face smothered with blankets and pillows.
“At one point during the struggle, the female said Ruck obtained a rifle and positioned the barrel near his face and shoved the stock of the gun into her chest telling her to pull the trigger,” Sheriff Bruce Riley, of the Linn County Sheriff’s Department, said in a statement Thursday night. “The victim stated she was in total fear of her life and was convinced Ruck wanted to kill himself or kill her and then himself.”
Ruck maintains that he was physically restraining the woman because she was having mental health issues, court documents said.
Sheriff Riley praised the quick action of Mr. Gonzales and the entire staff at Americare, saying, “If this guy hadn’t have gone the extra mile, we’re not sure what would have happened.” As for the fact that the call from the telemarketer came in at that very moment and was actually accidentally answered by the woman during a very violent struggle, Riley had his own ideas on that as well.
“At the very least it was lucky. At the most it might have been providence.”
In an email to local news organization KGW, the woman, who remains unidentified, extended her own gratitude to the telemarketer who may very well have saved her life.
“I wanted to thank the employees at Americare Health for not hanging up the phone that day. Without you, I might not be here today. I would also like to say that I appreciate everyone’s support. At this time, because I am trying to cope with everything and I don’t want to jeopardize the case.“
Although the telemarketer’s call was inadvertently answered, another woman deliberately called 911 and pretended to order a pizza in order to report abuse without raising her partner’s suspicion and got the help she needed. For more on that story, click here.
[Image via the Telegraph]