Text message may have saved the life of a domestic violence victim in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — A woman, frightened for the lives of her family, texted a friend for help. She didn’t feel she could safely call 911 for help, so she texted someone to call for her. Emergency dispatchers said that was exactly the right thing to do.

Seven minutes is all it took for police to get her location and find the car.  This story could’ve had a completely different ending if this woman didn’t ask for help. That text message could have very well saved her life, her child’s and her mother’s.

According to Spokane Police, the victim said she was in a car with her ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old Keman Rhone, who had a gun. When they were driving, Rhone told her, he was going to kill her and her mother, who was driving the car. The victim’s child who is a young toddler was also in the car.

911 dispatchers applaud this woman and encourage anyone in a similar situation to do the same. If you can talk, all dispatchers are trained to listen for any red flags during a call.

“If we hear someone yelling in the background, we are certainly going to question a whole lot more. If they are trying to tell us that it was just a hang up call or maybe their child was playing with the phone, but there’s yelling – we are going to go in more detail,” said Amy Sullivan, a 911 call receiver lead & trainer at SREC.

Police officers stopped the car just south of Sharp on Division. All three people are safe.

Police said they found Rhone’s backpack in the car. Officers found a 9mm loaded handgun.

You can text 911 directly in Spokane county. However, not all surrounding counties offer that service.

If you know someone who needs help getting away from domestic violence, or you need resources yourself, there are some local organizations in eastern Washington and north Idaho that can help.

  • YWCA Domestic Violence Advocates
    • 509-477-3656
    • 24-hour crisis line: 509-326-2255
  • Lutheran Community Services
    • 509-747-8224

Rhone was arrested and booked into Spokane County jail. He faces kidnapping and felony harassment charges. Rhone is not allowed to have have firearms because of a previous conviction. A judge set Rhone’s bond this at $40,000.