Thursday, January 8, 2009

*77 Is Mostly An Urban Legend

I received the following email from one of my friends. The information enclosed would be greatly beneficial if it were all true. However, as I found out, not all is factual.


I knew about the red light on cars, but not the*77
It was about 1:00 p.m. In the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on.. Lauren's parents have always told her never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather to wait until they get to a gas station, etc.

Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called *77 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her. The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back-up already on the way.

Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.

I never knew about the *77 Cell Phone Feature, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car. Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a safe & quiet place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them (i.e. Put on your hazard lights) & call *77 like Lauren did.

Too bad the cell phone companies don't generally give you this little bit of wonderful information.

*Speaking to a service representative at ** Bell ** Mobility confirmed that *77 was a direct link to State trooper info. So, now it's your turn to let your friends know about *77...

Send this to every woman (and person) you know; it may save a life. This applies to ALL 50 states"

First, *77 is not a number that is available in all 50 states to connect you to the Highway Patrol.

Second, it is true that some rapists attempt to pass themselves off as police officers.

Third, the person portrayed in this story is not confirmed to be an actual person as this story has turned into an urban legend and has been modified multiple times.

According to, in March 2002, the main character's name in the story was changed from Lauren to Lisa. There have been versions of this story that move the action to different countries, utilizing different emergency numbers.

While it is truly important to note that women driving alone have been sexually assaulted by rapists pretending to be police officers, this particular story does not seem to have merit.

Stay safe.

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