911 and voicemail? Imagine calling 911 in a severe emergency, and getting a voicemail message telling you to hang up and, if it truly is an emergency, call 911. A Florida man’s desperate 911 call to report a home invasion and beating was mistakenly redirected to voicemail. The Port Richey resident ended up shooting at least one of his assailants before a dispatcher finally got on the line.
According to MyFoxTampaBay.com, the Pasco County robbery exposed “problems in the 911 dispatch system. It happened earlier this week on Gwain Road in Port Richey. A man called 911 after four robbers with guns broke into his home, demanded money and prescription drugs.”
The man, whose name was not released, was initially connected to the fire department before he was then erroneously transferred to voicemail. Before he actually got a live voice on the other end, he was forced to shoot one of the robbers.
"I woke up to them beating me," said the homeowner who didn't want to be named.
The four intruders, three of whom were later identified as Joseph Rich, 31, and brothers Michael Riverdes, 31, and Steven Reverdes, 33, broke into the home, pistol-whipped a woman and beat the homeowner. They allegedly stole money and prescription drugs before taking off. When they left, the 911 call was placed. But the suspects had returned to the home before the man was reconnected to a dispatcher. By that time, he had taken matters into his own hands and shot one of the men.
"The male inside said, I have a gun and will use it,” recounted Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. “The gun battle begins. They pistol-whipped the female and took a weapon and pointed it to the child and said they would kill the child if they don't get what they want.”
"These are street thugs," Nocco added. “Sixteen hundred bucks, that's a good day. Anything to get them through the next high.”
When the man finally gets the dispatcher, he says:
Somebody just came into my house. Four people just came into my house, they beat the s--t out of me and my wife and stepmother, and they robbed us.
Three of the four suspects were caught and arrested. Steven Reverdes was the one shot by the homeowner and is hospitalized.
"I'm at a loss for words, I had to protect my family," the homeowner said of his ordeal and the 911 failings.
According to the Inquisitr, "Pasco County authorities said that accidentally sending the horrifying 911 call to voicemail did not delay the police response. The county said that sheriff’s deputies were on their way to the residence less than four minutes after the call" but that the county would “take steps to insure that future 911 calls do not get transferred to voicemail,” although no specifics were given in the statement.
A 911 dispatcher in Ohio is also in the news this week for telling a rape victim to "quit crying."