With “Don’t Pick Up the Phone,” which looks at how a hoax caller targeted fast food chains across the US to insult their young employees, we get a look at the dark side of human nature.
After all, it shows not only how a man pretending to be a police officer tried to get managers to strip-search their subordinates but also how determined real detectives were to catch the person who did it
. So, since the investigations into this horrible scam, which started in 1992 and were said to last at least 12 years, all pointed to David Richard Stewart, let’s find out more about him, shall we?
Who Is David Richard Stewart?
David Richard Stewart was caught while working as a security guard at a Walmart in Panama City, Florida. The suspect, who was 38 years old at the time, was married to a woman named Julie Stewart and had five children with her.
The police found out that Stewart was the one who made a number of fraudulent phone calls to restaurants and small businesses. During these phone calls, the man with five kids would pretend to be a police officer.
During these impersonations, he would take advantage of the people who answered the phone and ask them to do sexual things with each other. When the people who called realised that Stewart was lying, they told their local police.
When Was David Richard Stewart Arrested ?
Stewart was arrested on June 30, 2004, because he was linked to a list of phone scams and sexual solicitation reports from Kentucky, North Dakota, Nevada, Florida, and Georgia.
The case that led to his arrest happened when Stewart called a McDonald’s in Mount Washington, Kentucky. He pretended to be someone else and called himself “Officer Scott” so that he could pull off this plan.
On April 9, 2004, Officer Scott called the Mount Washington McDonald’s and asked to talk to Donna Summers, who was in charge of that location. He told Summers a lie and gave a vague description of an employee who was being accused of stealing.
Even though the story was made up, Summers was able to identify 18-year-old staffer Louise Ogborn as the young woman who fit “Officer Scott’s” description.
Stewart kept Summers on the phone for more than three hours and told her and her boyfriend, Walter Nix Jr., to strip-search Ogborn as part of a supposed theft investigation.
This happened in front of the establishment’s surveillance cameras, and the call was tracked to Panama City, Florida, by local investigators.
When Stewart was arrested, he was charged with pretending to be a police officer and trying to get someone to do something sexual. On October 31, 2006, all charges against him were dropped.
Those Calls, Did David Richard Stewart Make Them?
According to ABC News Stewart went to trial in the fall of 2006 because he was “accused of masterminding the strange and elaborate hoax” and “faced a possible 15 years in prison on charges ranging from soliciting sodomy to impersonating a police officer.”
The nearly three-hour surveillance video of Ogborn’s ordeal was shown to the jury. Stewart’s lawyer, Steve Romines, said that Stewart was just a scapegoat and that the police got the wrong person.
But detectives testified that they “recovered a calling card from Stewart’s home that they say was used to call a Burger King in Idaho—the same restaurant where a female manager got a call telling her to strip-search a male employee.” Romines argued that this was just a coincidence.
In the end, the jury decided that Stewart was not guilty because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him. Since Stewart was arrested, we haven’t heard much from him. Note that the calls stopped as well.
Where Is David Richard Stewart Now?
As for David’s current status, we can tell that the now-mid-50-year-old likes to stay out of the spotlight. In fact, this is so bad that it’s not clear whether he’s still in Florida or has moved somewhere else to start over. So, we can only guess that he is still a family man who wants to move on from the past as best he can.
The people who made “Don’t Pick Up the Phone” tried to get in touch with him so he could tell his side of the story, but he didn’t want to be in the documentary.
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