For Tracey McCloud, good Chinese food is serious business. If it’s not made right, McCloud won’t hesitate to call the authorities on your subpar moo goo gai pan-slinging self.
That’s what happened when she was dissatisfied with her food at Main Moon Chinese Restaurant—and it’s also how she ended up in jail.
Reuters obtained this recording of the actual 911 call:
According to McCloud, the food “wasn’t to par.” She asked for her money back, but the staff refused and instead took her disappointing dishes away. The 911 dispatcher asked if that was the only reason she called 911, and McCloud asked if she was supposed to beat the employees up to get her money back.
The 911 dispatcher then went on to say that McCloud should have called the non-emergency police line. But that’s where it gets weird. In the recording above, you can clearly hear McCloud say that’s exactly what she did, and that she got transferred to 911.
In any case, police were dispatched to Main Moon, where McCloud was arrested for misuse of the 911 system, which is a misdemeanor. She’s scheduled to appear in Municipal Court on July 10th to answer the charge.
The way we see it, this story could go two ways. Phone records should show which number McCloud actually dialed. If McCloud really did call non-emergency services and somehow got transferred to 911, we’d imagine that a lawyer should be able to get the charges against her dropped. Alternatively, if she actually did flip out and dial 911 herself to report that her egg rolls were less than excellent, phone records should show that as well.
Clearly, emergency services should only be contacted in actual food-related emergencies. For example, this Florida Pizza Hut customer did the right thing when she used the chain’s online ordering system to request 911 to save herself from a hostage situation.
However, if 911’s involvement wasn’t even McCloud’s fault, this looks like a clear case of trumped-up charges and revenue wrangling, and that sits about as badly with us as unrefrigerated egg foo young.