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In 2017, James Portillo, a contracted electronic door lock engineer in Corpus Christi, TX, was working a job on an ATM room door when he found himself locked with a jammed door inside the ATM room for three hours.

He began to pass notes to people outside of the ATM through the cash slot in the ATM. The first note he passed got a laugh, but no help. However, the second note he passed got a hurried call to 911, where police were able to break the door open and let Portillo out.

What Really Happened?

According to Portillo, several outlets got it wrong. He was stuck in an ATM room, where the ATM was stored. But many outlets had reported he was stuck in an actual ATM. The door was jammed by a nearby construction site and he was unable to escape the room.

The damage was done, as many people mistook Portillo for getting stuck inside an ATM, not an ATM vault. On social media, many questioned how someone could get stuck inside an ATM.

In addition, several news outlets inaccurately reported that the door had closed on him. Actually, the debris from the nearby construction site jammed the door. Stuck on the hinges of the door, he was unable to open the door.

Portillo tried to set off alarms and yelled at people trying to get their attention, as he had left his phone in his car to charge. So, the next best idea to try was to pass people notes through the receipt slot, which then led to his rescue! He asked his rescuer to call his boss, then to call his wife, because he heard her call his phone from his truck.

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