LAS VEGAS – Many customers are annoyed when their phone rings and a telemarketer is on the end of the line.
Amazingly, a woman in Oregon owes her life to a stranger at a call center.
A call to sell a product from Americare Health and Nutrition in Las Vegas turned into a lifesaving call.
From the start, telemarketers knew this call was different.
“The young lady on the other end never said hello,” said Tina Garcia, the telemarketing supervisor.
Instead, workers heard pleading.
“Please, please, please,” the woman on the phone said.
Once the telemarketer realized the woman wasn’t speaking to her, she got her supervisor’s attention.
“She said, ‘Tina, you need to hear this. I think this is no joke, something’s happening. This lady is getting hit,” Tina recalled.
“Get up!” another voice on the phone said.
“It was very, very frightening. That young lady was helpless. You could actually hear the blows as if he was hitting a punching bag, and she was terrified,” Garcia said.
After realizing this wasn’t a joke, the worker’s boss stepped in.
“It just got progressively worse,” Mario Gonzalez said.
A few of them listened while other workers called police more than 900 miles away for help.
“Just this horrible whimper,” said Garcia. “We were not going to hang up this phone on the young lady at all. As far as I was concerned, and the people in that room, we were the only lifeline.”
The call lasted nearly 15 minutes.
“I don’t want to die,” the woman is heard saying.
Gonzalez finally reached the right sheriff’s department and deputies arrived just in time.
“I feel like it was almost like divine intervention,” said Gonzalez.
Investigators arrested Warren Ruck after they say they found him holding the victim, who was gasping for air.
She told them Ruck had a gun and said that he wanted to kill her.
The woman’s phone was in her back pocket and she had no idea who called police.
“We were just kind of rejoicing and happy to hear that she was okay. Just very emotional, very emotional,” Gonzalez said.