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Rape reported near Ohio State’s campus garners national attention for 911 call

A rape that occurred near OSU's campus is receiving national attention after the 911 dispatcher told the victim to "quit crying" during the call. Credit: Madison Curtis/ Managing editor of design

A rape that occurred near OSU’s campus is receiving national attention after the 911 dispatcher told the victim to “quit crying” during the call.
Credit: Madison Curtis/ Managing editor of design

A 911 call made by a woman near Ohio State’s campus is receiving national attention after she reported she was raped and was told to “quit crying” by the dispatcher.

Although the dispatcher’s handling of the situation was reported on by national outlets such as the Huffington Post and ABC, she was not punished for her handling of the call.

The victim, who said on the call she was staying with friends at an off-campus house, called 911 at about 4 a.m. on June 8 after a man broke in and forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint. He then stole her money and cell phone.

The house is located on East 14th Avenue, Columbus Division of Police spokeswoman Denise Alex-Bouzounis said Wednesday afternoon.

According to the 911 call, the dispatcher said to the woman, “You’re going to have to quit crying so I can get the information from you.”

After telling the dispatcher she had “no idea” where the suspect entered the house or where the house was located, the dispatcher told the woman, “They’re not going to be able to find him with the information that you’ve given.”

The dispatcher was not reprimanded for her handling of the call because the victim received help, Alex-Bouzounis said.

“There’s regular training that the 911 dispatchers go through and they are trained to be sympathetic and empathetic with callers,” Alex-Bouzounis said. “Could this dispatcher been more sympathetic and empathetic? Sure, but her role was to get the information from the victim and track down the suspect at the same time, which happened.”

Police located the suspect, 30-year-old Michael Callihan, the next morning, Alex-Bouzounis said.

Callihan was charged with rape and burglary and is currently in Franklin County Jail.

His bond is set at $500,000, Alex-Bouzounis said.

About two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network website.

OSU provides services for victims of sexual assault that include counseling, advocacy, wellness and health services through Student Life.



  1. the dispatcher should have said “calm down and speak clearly, I can’t understand you…” and this would not be an issue. The quote from the call doesn’t sound like the dispatcher was criticizing the victim for reporting a rape. Sadly there has been so much political freakiness about “legitimate rape” and “God’s will” and stuff, people leap at stuff like this because everyone is all radared-up for rape-related jerkery. That doesn’t sound (to me) like what happened here.

  2. I have taken many calls where the calling party is screaming, hysterical or crying. The object of the calltaker is to get critical information out of this frantic situation. There are techniques that are generally accepted for controlling a caller and gleaning useful information. Sometimes, however, they fail. As a last resort it becomes necessary to act in a manner that to the uninvolved may seem harsh and condescending. It is certainly easy to be critical of a written transcript that is void of tone and emotion. I suggest a few minutes perusing the internet searching for 911 call recordings. Listen to the screaming and wailing of a distraught mother who is holding a non-breathing 6 month old…and tell me how you would get through to her. Attempt to determine where a vehicle accident is by talking to a victim trapped upside down in a burning car…then tell me what you would say to help calm them. Hindsight can be a great device for bringing clarity to a situation, but it can be a horrible tool for judging actions of those involved at the time.

  3. Why didn’t I receive a campus safety notice e-mail after this occurred?

  4. Students should be informed after something like this happens. I never got an email.

  5. You’d think a publication run by The Ohio State University would have better graphics than this.

  6. ^ I agree, just an honest tip: Play around with some of the text filters and brushes in photoshop.

  7. ^^Someone was raped at gunpoint and you are worried about a damn font choice!? Get a grip!!

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