At least Tanner didn't call the SWAT team

I will never forget the day the SWAT team came to our house. I was 13, and we had recently moved into a subdivision in the Day Heights area of Milford, Ohio. Our house was cool, so much nicer than the one in Lynchburg and the apartment we had just moved out of. My Mom had married Mike the summer before, and life for all of us was beginning to take a monumental turn for the better that continues to this day.

When we lived in that brick house on Day Circle, I took the bus home everyday. I was always the first home in the afternoon, with Angelia coming about 30 minutes later, then my Mom a few minutes after that. One particular day, when I got to the back garage door, the one we used to come in after school, I thought I heard something inside. I listened carefully and began to panic as I was sure someone was in the house.

Off to the neighbor's I went. In a full panic by the time she opened the door, I told Mrs. Braun what was going on and she said we should call the police. Our small town had been victimized by a number of burglaries, so the police department said they would do a drive by to see if anything was out of place. We hung up and I felt better knowing they were going to check things out. Then I saw my Mom.

She was home a little early and had picked up my sister from school. I ran to her and told her what I had heard and that the police had been called. She told me not to worry, and that we would check the whole house right after she used the bathroom. Funny how neither she, my sister, nor I thought much of the green panel van that came driving slowly by the house just as we went into the front door.

Ang and I went out through the kitchen and were prepared to go downstairs into the fully finished basement that we could access only through the garage. We heard something outside the back door, the same door where I had been when this situation had started. She opened the door and we both nearly peed ourselves. See that panel van had been the drive by, and they saw people going into the house. So they treated it as a live burglary. And they called in the whole force, including the three cops pointing weapons at us at that moment.We quickly explained who we were and they told us to wait outside.

Simultaneously, our mother came out of the bathroom, only to be staring down the barrel of a gun herself. "FREEZE" the officer shouted at her. "Hands in the air". She had been buttoning her pants that time, and was caught in a rather unfortunate predicament. By the time the cop let her finish that task, Ang and I were at the front door. And Mom came outside with us. And then we saw what a big deal this had turned out to be.

13 police cars were on the lawn or in the drive of that little house in Milford. The entire police force was there and they looked in every door, through every drawer, and opened every cabinet we had. It was one of the most embarrassing and intense memories from my childhood. We talk about it now and laugh, as I realize I was just a paranoid kid who was scared to be home alone. But back then, the story of the day I called the SWAT team to my house became a story I would hear for years to come.

Now I told you all of that to tell you this.

Last Thursday Tiffany and I had some errands to run and decided to have dinner out. We left the younger two at home alone, mainly because Ben has proven he is mature enough to handle watching his brother. However, 15 minutes into our night out, my phone rang and it was Ben's number on the ID. I picked up, and I could hear Tanner screaming "THEY"RE GONNA ARREST ME" in the background. I asked Ben what was wrong, and he explained. "Tanner called 911 on the home phone and hung up. They called back and he hung up again."

I turned the Mammoth mobile and headed back home. I called the Gahanna Police and explained the situation, and they told me they had to respond because it was a 911 hang-up. I thanked them, then told them to feel free to scare him out of ever doing it again.

When we pulled up, Tanner was standing on the lawn. Two of Gahanna's finest were next to him, and they were so nice to him. They explained how important their time is and how he should only call when there is an emergency, but to never be afraid to call. They promised they were not going to arrest him and that they understand mistakes happen. They handled it great, and I was so thankful they were as understanding as they were. Then he looked at me.

He was stiff as a board and trembling. He looked so pitiful. "Are you gonna ground me? Kill me?" he asked. Tiffany and I told him we thought he had probably learned a lesson and that we were good. We offered to take him out for dessert and calm him down. Within a few minutes he had stopped crying and was beginning to calm down. "Please don't facebook it, Dad" he begged. "Ok,", I replied, "but I am going to write a blog about it" Then I told him the same story I just told you. And told him he would be hearing about the day he called 911 for years to come!

Day # 427. Tanner is a great kid. But if you see him, please ask him not to call 911 on you!

It is good to be me!


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