D.C.

D.C. 911: Woman says 911 hung up on her three times

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A 28-year-old Russian grad student said the scariest part of being robbed at gunpoint in Northeast D.C. Sunday night was when she says 911 hung up on her three times.

She was walking home from the Brookland Metro at 9:30 on 10th Street when a man wearing a ski mask and armed with a gun walked behind her and announced the robbery.

“The second time he said give me your pockets or I am going to shoot and the gun was in my face,” says the woman, who ABC7 is not identifying.

While screaming and trying to wave down a passing car, she said he took off running through the nearby rec center. Then she said she was stunned when she called 911 the first time. She says she tried to explain what happened but the operator hung up on her.

So she said she called 911 right back

"Just trying to explain to her that I was attacked and she said I am going to hang up on in 30 seconds,” she says.

The operator allegedly told her “I am going to hang up in 30 seconds.” She called 911 a third time. She said she heard a recording. Then silence. No help.

“Thank God I wasn't hurt. What if I had been? What if I laid there and bleed to death?” she asks.

She got safely home. There, her landlord said he had to call 911 for her.

"When she came here at one point, she said I am not going to report it and she was in tears,” says her landlord, Eduardo Padilla.

After two tries, word was sent to police and they showed up.

Here's the full statement from the Office of Unified Communications:

On May 19, 2013 a caller located in the District of Columbia attempted to call 911 on three occasions from a cell phone between 9:33 and 9:34pm. The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) did receive the calls, however upon investigation only the call takers’ voice can be heard on the recording despite repeated requests for the caller to identify themselves and their emergency. The call takers who handled the calls indicated that there was an open line and waited for a response from the caller, but no response was audible. On all three occasions, two separate call takers experienced the same silence from this specific caller, which possibly indicates that the caller’s cell phone was muted, or that there was a carrier issue.

Another individual called at 9:47pm and that call was also received by the Office of Unified Communications. The audio of this call was reported as an attempted robbery. The OUC quickly dispatched two police units at 9:49pm.

All calls for service are taken seriously at the OUC, as we recognize the urgency of emergency situations. Our investigation indicates that our emergency communication system is working properly. On May 19th 2013, (3,474) calls for service were answered and processed without incident. There is no indication that other callers experienced a similar 911 interaction.

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