ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 911 dispatcher in New Mexico allegedly became angry and hung up on a caller who needed his help, even after she pleaded that her friend was dying.
“I’m not going to deal with this,” the man could be heard saying on the call, CNN affiliate KOAT reports.
It began the night of June 26 when Jaydon Chavez-Silver, 17, was shot while attending a party. Police do not believe he was targeted, KOAT reports.
Desperately trying to keep him alive, the teen’s friend called 911 and was connected to dispatcher Matthew Sanchez, 10-year veteran of the department.
- Caller: “I’m keeping him alive.”
- Dispatcher: “OK, is he not breathing?”
- Caller: “Barely! Take one more breath, one more breath. There you go, Jaydon. One more breath. There you go, Jaydon.”
- Caller: “Good job! Just stay with me, OK? OK? There you go. Good job, Jaydon.”
- Dispatcher: “Is he breathing?
- Caller: “He’s barely breathing. How many times do I have to (bleep) tell you?”
- Dispatcher: “OK, you know what ma’am? You could deal with yourself. I’m not going to deal with this. OK.”
- Caller: “No, my friend is dying! I…”
Then the call ends.
“It was his job. I don’t understand why he hung up,” caller Esperanza Quintero, 17, told KOAT. “I cussed at him once. I was frantic. I was scared.”
With her friend dying in her arms, Quintero said she tried to get another dispatcher to reconnect with her someone else but by that time police had already arrived.
She said she wished Sanchez would have guided her through that terrifying ordeal instead of abandoning her.
“That’s part of their job to keep you calm in these situations,” she said.
“He should find something else to do because obviously helping people is not for him,” she added.
Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey, Sanchez’s boss, said he’s taking the incident very seriously.
“After learning of the alleged misconduct, driver Matthew Sanchez was immediately removed from the dispatch center and placed on administrative assignment. An internal investigation has been initiated…,” Downey said in a statement.
Late Tuesday, the city’s fire department announced Sanchez had resigned.
Officials said ambulances had been dispatched by the time the dispatcher hung up the phone.
No arrests have been made in the death of Chavez-Silver, a star athlete at Manzano High School. No shooter descriptions have been released.