Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Carmel on the Case: 911 Call
Usually, when we call 911, we expect to get help in a hurry. But a young south Florida girl thinks the system let her down when she called in the middle of the night. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
WSVN--Like most teens, 17-year-old Jaclyn Jacobson's car is her pride and joy.
But recently, she was left dazed and confused when her pride and joy was struck by a rock.
Jaclyn Jacobson: "It was like terrifying. It sounded like a bomb went though my window."
This picture shows the damage.
Somebody threw a rock through the back window.
In Jaclyn's case, she was lucky nobody was hurt.
But in the heat of the moment, she feared her life could be in danger.
Jaclyn Jacobson: "It was like this big and I was freaking out so I didn't want to stop right away because I wasn't sure if someone from behind me threw it or someone from next to me or where it came from."
Carmel Cafiero: "It happened at two in the morning as she drove a friend home from work. The girls were just off 595 and Davie Road. Jaclyn dialed 911 as she drove to a restaurant parking lot."
911 Operator: "911, do you need police, fire or medical rescue?"
Jaclyn Jacobson: "Um yes, OK, my window on Davie Road and my whole windshield is cracked."
911 Operator: "What happened to it?"
Jaclyn Jacobson: "Um, my whole back windshield - someone threw a huge rock at it and it's cracking."
Jaclyn Jacobson: "So I figured the unit would come out right away."
But she figured wrong.
As Jaclyn waited, she worried somebody was following her.
As far as she and her friend knew, this was not an isolated incident so she called 911 a second time.
911 Operator: "911 - do you need police fire or medical rescue?"
Jaclyn Jacobson: "Yeah, I definitely just called about um about a cop coming because somebody threw a rock at my window."
911 Operator: "OK ma'am the first available unit, the police will come out to you. I can let them know you called again."
Carmel Cafiero: "As the girls sat in the car - they thought 15 minutes passed between those calls - it was really only five minutes. But then they sat here another 17 minutes before calling 911 a third time - this time to cancel."
911 Operator: "There's an officer on his way there.
Jaclyn Jacobson: "Well yeah, but I've been waiting 25 minutes and someone was following me throwing rocks at my window, like I could have died."
Both Jaclyn and her mom Michele are convinced the Davie police department let them down.
Michele Jacobson: "I would hardly want to be an adult on the side of the road, much less being seventeen and a half years old without the police coming."
But the police department says this is an issue of communication.
Lt. Bill Bamford: "At no time did we ever believe that her life was in danger."
Lt. Bill Bamford says the department reviewed the 911 tapes.
Lt. Bill Bamford: "They handled them responsibly and they handled them in an efficient and effective manner."
He says that original call came in as property damage... A broken window.
At the time an accident with injuries and a violent domestic call took priority.
Lt. Bill Bamford: "And if she had communicated to us that she thought someone was following her - or that someone was following her or that someone was trying to injure her in some way - it would have taken a completely different life at that point."
The Davie police also called and explained procedure to Jaclyn and her mom.
But for the teenager, it's not enough.
Jaclyn Jacobson: "Now every time I'm driving on the road I get nervous. There's crazy people out there, you don't really know."
She does know if she ever has to call 911 again - she'll make it very clear she thinks she's in danger.
If you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE