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Boy calls 911 and says dad ran a red light
01:52 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

The father stopped at a red light before making a right turn

When Robbie got home, he called police

CNN  — 

This wasn’t the kind of emergency Joleen McDonald had in mind when she taught her 6-year-old son, Robbie, to dial 911.

When Robbie took a ride with his dad and saw him drive past a red light, he did what he thought was the right thing to do: He called the cops.

“My daddy went past a red light,” Robbie said in a 911 call the Quincy Police Department in Massachuetts posted. “It was in the brand new car – my mommy’s car. We had to go to the car wash and then we went past the red light.”

Mike Richardson and Robbie were on their way to a car wash last Saturday. The father stopped at a red light before taking a right turn. That’s legal in Massachusetts.

But Robbie, who dreams of becoming a police officer, noticed his dad had driven by even when the light was red.

“He said he was going to call 911,” Richardson told CNN. “I just kind of blew it off a little bit, you know, he’s 6 years old.”

When they got home, he called police.

“We were cooking on the grill,” McDonald, told CNN. “Robbie went in the house and not even five minutes later he came out with the phone and was like, ‘Somebody called.’”

‘Better than hearing the routine calls’

That somebody was the dispatcher at the police department, who asked to speak to Robbie’s dad after Robbie’s complaint.

The father apologized for the inconvenience. But dispatcher Mike Bowes took it in stride.

“It’s better than hearing the routine calls we get in the station,” Bowes told CNN.

McDonald said she taught her son to call 911 after watching a particularly sad news story.

“I was watching the news and I saw a little kid called 911 because his sister was choking,” McDonald told CNN. “So I told Robbie about 911 and I had him write it on a sheet of paper in case anything ever happened.”

She said she’s proud of his call.

“He thought he was doing the right thing,” she said, adding that she can’t believe how many people are talking about Robbie.

“It brings a little humor to the world,” said McDonald. “That’s what we need these days.”