Don’t Pick Up the Phone is Netflix’s recently released three-part mini docuseries that is inspired by the real events of The strip search phone call scam in 2005. As per the news, the incident wasn’t the first. It had been done before and over 70 such occurrences have been noted in the US.
The docuseries was released on 14th December 2022 and the plot followed the story of a hoax caller who convinced managers to strip-search employees at fast food businesses. The miniseries is directed by Sara Mast. It stars Daphne Lewis and Javier Leiva in lead roles.
In real life, David Richard Stewart was said to be the culprit behind these offenses. He was presented in court but was never charged with these crimes. Several pieces of evidence were found at his house including a phone card, dozens of applications for police department jobs, police-style uniforms, and guns.
Stewart was expected to be charged with the crime of impersonating a police officer and solicitation of sodomy and faced the risk of being in prison for 15 years. But the court did not find Stewart guilty of the charges. Ironically, after Stewart’s arrest, the crimes stopped.
The judge awarded Louise Ogborn $5 million in punitive damages and $1.1 million in compensatory damages. Donna Summers was also awarded $1 million in punitive damages and $100,000 in compensatory damages.
Many projects have already been made on this incident including Plainview (a short film), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Season 9, Episode 17), Compliance (film), Mai Dang Lao (play), Casefile True Crime Podcast, Orders (animated film) and more.