MIAMI COUNTY — Over the weekend, the Miami County Communication Center received its first text-to-911 call from a 16-year-old girl who was a passenger in a car during a drug deal.
Around 4:30 p.m. on July 22, the teen, who is known to the suspect, reported to dispatchers that Matthew J. Weigel, 20, of Troy, was headed to Vandalia to buy heroin. She stated that she could not make a voice call, but that she feared for his life.
“It was the type of situation that made sense to use texting versus attempting a voice call,” Communication Center Director Jeff Busch said.
It was the center’s first, and so far only, actual text-to-911 call, Busch noted.
The suspect was initially unaware that the passenger was texting 911, but eventually realized she had notified law enforcement, according to a transcript provided by the Communication Center.
According to her messages, Weigel was agitated and told his passenger that he would flee law enforcement. Dispatch maintained a text conversation with the girl for about 30 minutes, while trying to get law enforcement units to establish contact.
The girl described the vehicle and kept dispatch informed of their location, texting landmarks and mile markers as Weigel drove toward Vandalia.
“He said he will do a high speed chase,” she texted dispatch. “I’m crying, I don’t want (him) to die on drugs. He said he will wreck us. He’s screaming.”
Weigel allegedly made a heroin purchase in Harrison Township and began their return trip northbound on Interstate 75.
According to a report from the Tipp City Police Department, Weigel and his passenger were intercepted on their return to Miami County by Ohio State Highway Patrol and Tipp City police units without incident.
Weigel is currently in custody at the Miami County Jail.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.