Home > Past Articles > Suspected Bomb Was A Payphone TTY

Suspected Bomb Was A Payphone TTY

June 25, 2007

Published 03-27-01 in the San Jose Mercury News

By Rodney Foo

Mercury News

It looked suspiciously like a bomb –an unmarked metal box with a flashingred light placed beneath a pay telephone. So authorities evacuated a rehabilitation center at Valley Medical Center for hours. 89 patients with spinal cord and brain injuries, along with scores of workers, were moved while Santa Clara County Sheriff’s bomb squad technicians were called in. When they finally solved the riddle, the mysterious box turned out to be a payphone TTY that enables the hearing-impaired to use pay phones. The incident began when two people reported the device — bolted to a shelf under a pay phone in the front lobby — to security staff. No one at the center could identify the metal box or knew when it was installed. Officials called Pacific Bell and described the box to the phone company representative, who also could not identify it and recommended hospital officials call in a bomb squad. Deputies brought in a $140,000 remote controlled robot that is equipped with two television cameras to inspect the box. After a lengthy conversation with a telephone company representative, who came to the center to view images of the box, it was determined that the device was a TTY box, which enables users to send messages and receive them over phone lines with a keyboard.

From the San Jose Mercury News

Categories: Past Articles
  1. oscartheobserver
    June 25, 2007 at 9:14 pm


    And sad thing is that TTYs are rapidly going out of date!

    *laugh softly at unbelievable failure in tech identity*

  2. Diane
    June 25, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Eventually TTYs will be no longer existed … Sigh scary out there. Hearing people’s mind go backward! I am sure there are many older Deaf people still need it today.

  3. June 25, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    It’s sad to see how ignorant some hearing people are! What’s wrong with training the security guards to have a knowledge of communication tools on site?

  4. Erick Ketcham
    June 25, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Idiots… They are adding another stigma to the Deaf community, how wonderfully great.

    I do wonder why it happened NOW, while we’ve had public tty’s for years?

  5. Richard Roehm
    June 25, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    It’s not about being ignorant. It’s about the lack of education by the California old deaf guards in the 90’s. I have the videotape that explains the ultratec payphone. I use it in the cop education meets and security guard tradeshows. Also design changes show the identification is etched onto the box than put on it with a big sticker that can be peeled off whic his the reason why it made the news like that.

    And this is for Diane, a new TTY is being developed that can be used with phone lines, coaxial lines, and be connected to the internet via USB. As soon as I get the prototype, I’ll make a youtube announcement. There will always be a market for TTY’s for the late deafened, the HOH, and those who serve them. I’m talking about the 98% of the ‘hearing impaired’ population, not the 2% the hardcore ASL VP users.


  6. Billythegoat
    June 25, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    They have no common sense.

  7. mother goose
    June 26, 2007 at 10:41 am

    big ouchies!!

  8. i
    June 26, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    it took a few years till someone noticed the box! and no one knew what it was for! too funny!

  9. Nikeboy
    June 26, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    OMG! What an idiot.

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