DC woman calling 911 put on hold several times after encounterin - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC woman calling 911 put on hold several times after encountering burglar at her home

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WASHINGTON -

There is no explanation so far as to why a woman’s call to 911 was placed on hold more than once when she found a burglar in her Northwest D.C. home Saturday afternoon.

The woman called for help after scuffling with the man before chasing him down the street.

D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells says an investigation has so far failed to turn up an answer.

Kathleen Burke says she called 911 several times just after one p.m. Saturday as she chased a burglar out of her house on Broad Branch Road.

But each time, she was placed on hold.

When she finally got through after several attempts, the police arrived in force, but by then, the man had gotten away.

"The response time was unacceptable,” said Wells, the Chairman of the D.C. City Council’s Judiciary Committee. “I know that MPD (Metropolitan Police Department) got there fairly quickly once they got through, but the 911 call took too long and that is unacceptable. And so I have talked to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and he is finding out exactly what happened. But I do know that they had full staffing and there was nothing technologically wrong.”

Wells says the Office of Unified Communications confirmed the woman’s story.

"I did determine with the Office of Unified Communications where they receive the 911 calls that they agree the response time was way outside what it was supposed to be,” said Wells.

Supervisors are now going through their records to see if the 911 center may have been momentarily overwhelmed with calls at the time of the burglary.

Hours earlier and about a mile away, two houses in the 4400 block of Warren Street, NW were burglarized by one or possibly two men who entered the homes through an unlocked window and unlocked doors while the residents were sleeping.

"Is it creepy? Yes, but it would have been worse had I confronted them and bore the consequences of that,” said homeowner Webster Knight.

Knight says police responded quickly after the call went through to 911.

It’s unclear if footage from two surveillance cameras mounted on poles across the street captured useful images.

Nothing was taken from the home on Broad Branch Road, but in the Warren Street burglaries, laptop computers were stolen along with purses, credit cards and a coat.

Police say in all three burglaries, entry was made through an open window and unlocked doors.


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