D.C.

D.C. woman calls 911, gets put on hold

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A D.C. woman found herself on hold when she called 911 after confronting a strange man in her house.

Police say the woman noticed a stranger had broken into her home on Broad Branch Road NW through an unlocked door Saturday. Neighbors say the woman in her fifties is petite, but fought back. When the suspect ran out of the house she chased after him down the street, called 911, and was put on hold.

“Seems a bit outrageous,” says Pat Keefe.

The Office of Unified Communications, the District’s 911 call center, explains the woman’s call came in during a “rare spike in volume of calls.”

Wanda Gattison, spokesperson for the Office of Unified Communications, says the woman’s call came in at 1:19 p.m. and she was put on hold until 1:20 p.m. Neighbors expressed frustration, saying one minute was one minute too long when the woman was chasing after an intruder by herself.

The 911 call center says once an operator got to the woman’s call, police were dispatched one minute later and officers arrived in the neighborhood six minutes later. Officials say 95 percent of emergency calls in the city are handled within 5 seconds of less, well above the national standard.

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