Dallas Police Blame 911 Caller's "Heavy Accent" for 75-Minute Response to Armed Robbery

Categories: Crime

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On Sunday night, four men tried to rob Pepe's Grocery on Bernal Drive in West Dallas. One of them was carrying an assault rifle, but the manager of the closed store drew first, hitting his target with two shots from his .38. The would-be robbers fled, leaving a trail of blood behind.

The manager, Joe Cho, called police and waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, 20 minutes after shooting an intruder, he locked up and went home. Officers arrived at the store some 75 minutes later.

"I'm at home safe, everything, I relax right now," Cho told the Morning News' Scott Goldstein. "Then you call me about an hour something later, you want me to come back over here."

Dallas police have a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. "The caller had a very heavy accent and was speaking very quickly," a DPD spokesman said in an email to media Tuesday evening. "The call taker had a very difficult time understanding the information and did not hear the caller say 'shot' or 'shoot.'"

The department would have come closer to its targeted robbery response time of 12 minutes had there not been a report of a shooting a few blocks away -- the wounded gunman, it turns out, who had been left by his accomplices.

Police released the 911 call, which you can listen to below. It's really garbled. Hats off to the call taker for gleaning there was a robbery. Cho definitely says "shot" a couple of times, but it's easy to miss on the first listen, even if you're listening for it. Hard to fault the troubled 911 call center here.

What that leaves us with is the simple fact that it took Dallas police more than an hour to respond to an armed robbery. That's a long time.

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33 comments
Had2Wright
Had2Wright

Maybe he shoulda been speaking in ebonics so theys cud unnderstans him...

subdjoe
subdjoe

Funny, I have bad hearing and I caught the word the first time through.  At least well enough to have asked a follow up question like "You have been shot?"  or "You shot someone?"  It is a real stretch to blame the so-called heavy accent.  And isn't it the job of the 911 call takers to GET THE INFORMATION?


ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

What is so f con fusing here? Why do 911 ops get so much discretion? Jjust fucking send a cop. As we all see every day, cops are so bored 5 min show up for minor accident.

And that nearby call..bet there were way too many there too. Could have spared some for Cho. Idiots.

physics2010
physics2010

Was there a new rule put in place where 911 dispatchers are not allowed to ask questions? Did you see the getaway vehicle? Did you see the license plate? Were there any distinguishing bullet holes in the suspects?

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

I call bullshit on the DPD. 


911 calls are traced, the guy is yelling, he's excited, eventually the word(s) "shot" and "shoot" are understood. The police should have been there in 12 minutes or less. They dropped the ball. Admit it, fix it and move on.

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

" Bernal Drive in West Dallas"

I thought Phil Romano was the man in charge of West Dallas?

George Tamez
George Tamez

I hope they didn't take the tacos. They are the bomb!

Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

We do. Sometimes they wake up late. Thanks for the catch.

Samantha Garrison
Samantha Garrison

I listened to the audio last night....I could understand the words "shot him"....imo that's all a dispatcher needs to hear to send someone out.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The only thing I understood was "4819 Bernal Drive".  The man was in a panic.  That panicked voice and the address would tell me as a 911 agent to send the cops immediately.

Kim Rice
Kim Rice

I heard robbery and the address; I'm not a trained 911 operator.

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

The DPD in the David Brown era are a mess. We have dispatchers whom are just plain stupid and police who seem to not know their beats..

Jennifer Herring Pintus
Jennifer Herring Pintus

I got trapped inside my office one day scared out of my mind. I called 911 twice telling them I was by myself and scared because this guy wouldn't leave and kept banging on the office door while mumbling crazy things. It took them 45 minutes to get to me. Once, I accidentally called and hung up but was unable to answer the phone right away. They were there in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes. So apparently that's the best way to get them there quickly.

Valerie D. Ruiz Rodriguez
Valerie D. Ruiz Rodriguez

Can I say? I have called 911, I speak very clearly and they still couldn't comprehend what I would say, multiple times, I had to repeat what I would say(address, name, what's going on, etc). Then comes the attitude when I'm like "REEAALLY??"

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Ip 'chots pired' don't bring em, what's left? Free donuts?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Solution:

Press 1 for gun shots

Press 2 for robbery in progress

Press 3 for barking dogs

Press 4 for "I'm drunk and need a ride but don't have no money for a cab and my friends left me here and I'm drunk"

 

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@GuitarPlayer 100% agree.  If the 911 operator is confused regarding the response due to the accident, they should have asked their supervisor.

The accent is just the after the fact excuse.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Unless the guy was on a cell phone his call location  information should be on the Screen in front of the 911 operator   ....That is what 911 is about  I think ...


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@Rumpunch1 @GuitarPlayer Also, maybe they should recruit a Korean speaking agent.  Bi-lingual with English of course.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@oakclifftownie I don't understand why Eric did back flips to excuse the 911 agent.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@alteredjustice @Montemalone

911 caller: Hello? someone is firing shots at me!!!!!!!!!

 911 response: . . .  is important to us. We are experiencing a larger than usual volume of calls, please be patient until the next available operator can take your call..

*MUZAK*

Please stay on the line, your call is important to us. We are experiencing a larger than usual volume of calls, please be patient until the next available operator can take your call.

*MUZAK*

Please stay on the line, your call is important to us. We are experiencing a larger than usual volume of calls, please be patient until the next available operator can take your call.

911 Caller: AAAAAAARRRRRRGHHHHHH! *hangs up*


Had2Wright
Had2Wright

Maybe he shoulda been speaking in ebonics so theys cud unnderstans him...

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Last words from the 911 operator were I have a Call in for the police ....Oh and when the story first came out  the Police seemed to have said No Call was received from that location .In the first place .


subdjoe
subdjoe

@TheCredibleHulk @alteredjustice @Montemalone 

All the 911 calls in the San Francisco Bay Area used to be routed through a single office in Vallejo.  You WOULD get the "please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received."  Once, trying to report a road hazard, I was on hold over 15 minutes.


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