Law enforcement officers have had their fair share of strange encounters with mythological beings and chasing mythical beasts, but it's a first for Corpus Christi police who came to the rescue of an automated teller machine pleading for help from its users.
It turns out that a repairman got stuck in the room behind a Bank of America ATM on the afternoon of July 12 and decided that the best course of action to be rescued is to slip "please help" notes along with the transaction receipt.
Of course, most clients ignored the note since it seemed like a recipe for a prank, but one concerned customer approached the police with the strange story — and handwritten note. Upon further investigation — one where the responding officers repeatedly considered the whole thing as a joke, the police confirmed that the message was not a prank and they hurriedly kicked down the door to free the repairman from the machine.
— Corpus Christi PD (@CorpusChristiPD) July 13, 2017
The Man In The Machine
According to the rescued individual whose name was withheld, he is actually a contract worker sent to the ATM to install a new lock on the door of the service room behind it. His big mistake was forgetting the very devices that would have allowed him to exit the secure room smoothly.
"Apparently he left his cellphone and the swipe card he needed to get out of the room outside in his truck," Corpus Christi police Lt. Chris Hooper explained.
What the repairman did was to slip handwritten "Please help" notes with his boss' phone number along with every transaction receipt. Lucky for him, the ATM continued to be operational so he only had to keep slipping notes for around two hours before someone finally took his notes seriously and called for help.
"We come out here, and sure enough we can hear a little voice coming from the machine ... So we are thinking this is a joke. It's got to be a joke," officer Richard Olden recounted.
Despite still thinking it was a joke, the officers on the scene called the number on the note and verified that the man inside the machine is really a legitimate repairman sent to work on the site. The responding officers promptly freed the man who probably won't forget the experience anytime soon — or ever.
Officer Olden confirmed that the door did not have a door knob and that a device was really needed to unlock the door from the inside — in this case, the man's swipe card.
The man walked away without being charged since there was no crime committed, but the incident is definitely something that the people involved will remember with amusement or embarrassment.