Alicia Cappola of Everett, Washington, said she called 911 37 times after a man tried breaking into her home on Thursday. An hour after her first call, she was finally patched through to the police, who arrived after the intruder left the scene. At the time, there was a seven-hour outage in 911 service that affected the entire state and some counties in Oregon.
Cappola, a mother of young twins, shared how she handled the situation on her own with HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski.
"I was asleep. It was 1:45 in the morning, and I heard a banging on the door and it woke me up," she said. "It was really aggressive knocking and I kind of went into the kitchen and got my cell phone to call 911, and it rang busy. So I thought I had done something wrong because 911 is never busy."
When Cappola further inspected the situation, she saw a stranger attempting to come through her front door. "There was a guy out there, trying to get in. He was yelling for me to let him in," she said. "I went back into the kitchen and kept trying to call 911."
The intruder proceeded to break into her window. "He stopped banging on the door after about 10 minutes and ripped a screen off a window on my front porch," she said. "And unfortunately the window was unlocked. When he came through the window, I grabbed a knife in my kitchen and, you know, went towards him and told him to get out."
Cappola was able to verbally convince the intruder, who seemed disoriented, to leave. "It could have been so much worse," she said, "and I hope we don't end up hearing about other people who did have worse situations."
The outage was due to a technical error by third-party vendor CenturyLink, who said they were aware of the problem and released the following statement:
"At this time, 911 services have been restored throughout Washington. CenturyLink continues to work with the 911 centers to ensure that all issues have been resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers."