Note left in gas station restroom might have saved a woman’s life in Monroe County, police says

A clerk reportedly found a note inside a gas station restroom that read: “Police...Tell room 218. I need help. He broke my cell phone.”
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 9:21 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2021 at 11:38 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - According to Sweetwater police, officers got a call to a gas station along Highway 68 in Monroe County. A clerk reportedly found a note inside the restroom that read: “Police...Tell room 218. I need help. He broke my cell phone.”

Sergeant Kelvin Franco and another officer responded to the call on Sept. 29 around 1 a.m.

“We tried to get there as fast as we could,” Franco said.

Franco told WVLT News he and a partner went hotel to hotel hoping to find a possible victim at the mentioned room number. They eventually found a man, child and a woman who told officers her boyfriend beat her several times that day.

“Her nose was bloody, bruising on her chin, bruising on the top of her head. You can tell she had been a victim of some type of assault,” Franco said.

Franco said that note might have saved the woman’s life, but it wasn’t missed on him how he put his life on the line to help.

“We didn’t know if he was armed or if he was the one who put the note there,” said Franco.

Domestic disputes continue to be one of the most dangerous calls for a police officer. The Department of Justice looked at calls from 2010 to 2016 and found more officers died during a domestic dispute than any other call during that time.

Days before Franco closed his case, a Middle Tennessee sheriff’s deputy was shot dead while trying to save a woman from her suspected abuser.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports 28 officers were shot and killed in the first half of 2021.

“We never go to a domestic violence call alone, because that’s how dangerous it is,” Franco said.

A suspect was arrested for simple domestic assault at that hotel in Sweetwater.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. If you or someone you know needs help, call The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or go to

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.