Monday 26 February 2018

Screaming woman in 'violent struggle' with ex-boyfriend saved after she 'accidentally answers marketing call'

Walter Ruck (Photo released by Linn County Police Department)
Walter Ruck (Photo released by Linn County Police Department)

Adam Withnall

It’s not every day that something happens to make you thankful for the existence of cold-calling telemarketers.

But police in Oregon, US, say that a lucky sales call from an office about 900 miles away may have saved a screaming woman’s life.

The call from Americare Health in Las Vegas was accidentally answered by a mobile phone in the back pocket of a 33-year-old woman who police say was being beaten and strangled by her ex-boyfriend.

Sales caller Chamille McElroy expected to hear someone say “hello” – but was instead greeted by the sounds of an apparently violent struggle.

Ms McElroy alerted first her line manager, then Americare CEO Mario Gonzalez, who said workers could hear the woman screaming for her life and shouting: “Please don’t kill me.”

The sales company quickly passed the details of the call and the woman’s address to police, who arrived at the address in Lebanon, Linn County and heard a man’s voice telling a woman to “be quiet”.

Police said they believed the woman’s life was in danger, and that when they opened the door she ran outside.

Officers arrested 33-year-old Walter Warren Ruck, who was charged on Thursday with fourth-degree assault and strangulation.

Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley praised Mr Gonzalez and the staff at Americare, saying: “If this guy hadn't have gone the extra mile, we're not sure what would have happened.

“At the very least it was lucky,” he said. “At the most it might have been providence.”

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