PERKINS TOWNSHIP, Ohio– Dispatchers hear all kinds of reasons for calling 911, but it’s not often that they get a call for help from the back seat of a police cruiser with a complaint about the air conditioning.
Perkins Township police said 54-year-old Keith Oshoski initially called 911 on Sunday to report that he had been assaulted by his estranged 17-year-old son in the parking lot of a shopping center.
After getting Oshoski`s side of the story, an officer decided to place him in the back seat of a cruiser so that he can question his son, who had just returned to the scene. Video from the officer’s body camera shows that he returned to the cruiser a few minutes later and checked on Oshoski.
The officer is heard asking,
“Are you getting enough air or do you need me to drop a window?” the officer asked.
“No, I`m good,” Oshoski said.
The officer then told Oshoski that his son is accusing him of being the aggressor in the fight and that they both could end up being charged. The patrolman closed the door again and minutes later, Oshoski used his cell phone to call 911 from the back seat of the cruiser.
“He has me in the back of the patrol car and he has no air on. It’s shut off and the windows are up and I cannot breath. It’s very, very hot in here. I’m sorry to call you,” Oshoski said.
The officer told supervisors he was surprised when dispatchers told him about the call for assistance from his own car just feet away. He returned the to the cruiser and turned up the air conditioning.
Oshoski told police that he tried to get the attention of the officers, but they could not see or hear him so that’s why he decided to call 911.
The police chief of Perkins Township said he is concerned that someone facing a real emergency might not have been able to reach the dispatcher while Oshoski was placing his call.
“I think he could probably could have knocked on the window to try to get the officer`s attention instead. I think 911 could be used for other resources, more important, more urgent resources,” Chief Robb Parthemore said.
Prosecutors decided Oshoski will not face any charges for calling for 911, but he and his son will be charged with disorderly conduct for the earlier incident in the parking lot.