When The B Square approached Bloomington city hall late Friday afternoon, Bloomington resident Daniel Fritz was lying prone in the gutter of Morton Street.
Standing on either side of him were two yellow-vested city of Bloomington utilities (CBU) workers—Robert Jackson and Matthew Dunn. Fritz’s face was pressed right up against the grate of a storm drain.
After a couple of quick questions, the scene was sussed out.
Fritz was looking down into the void to see where his iPhone had been a minute before. Jackson and Dunn had just extracted it from the bottom of the drain.
Fritz told The B Square his phone had slipped out of his pocket and had found its way between the storm drain bars.
Fritz lives across the way from city hall in The Avenue on College (formerly known as Smallwood) in a four-person unit.
Fritz and one of his roommates, Anudeep Akurati, were heading out to grab a bite at the new Raising Cane’s on Kirkwood Avenue, when Fritz’s phone escaped into the CBU storm drain.
Jackson and Dunn wound up on the scene after Akurati called the city of Bloomington. Akurati and Fritz are familiar with city services, because they rent parking spaces from the city at the Trades District garage, just north of city hall. Those were the last spaces that were available, they told The B Square.
Akurati said his call got transferred to utilities. Jackson and Dunn were sent by the utilities dispatcher—they generally handle meter services, so they work in all areas of the Bloomington.
They fished Fritz’s cell phone out of the drain by using an extended key—a long rod-like device—that they wrapped with duct tape, sticky-side out.
Jackson said they could have pulled the phone out quicker, but it was wet down in the hole, so the tape did not stick as well as it might have.