How a 911 dispatcher helped a caller facing violence

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — A violent man who threatened people with a machete and started a fire in his apartment was arrested last week by police in Wheat Ridge police. The chaos was shown on body camera video released last week.

The dispatcher who took the call, Caroline Davis, said it was the kind that sticks with you. She said when she first took the call it was normal, with an upset employee at the complex telling Davis of a distraught resident who became agitated in their office but had since left.

Davis told her to go check his license plate outside so they could get an ID, but that’s when things took a turn.

”As she’s bending down checking the plate, she looks up,” Davis said, “and he’s coming at her aggressively.”

Next, you hear screams on the call and the woman yelling that the man has a machete and is coming toward her.

“She said very clearly, ‘What should I do?’ And I immediately got chills, but I was in the driver’s seat and said, ‘You need to run.’ So, the woman does and separates herself from him by using the pool as a barricade,” Davis said.

As officers arrived, the woman pointed to where the man was. He then locked himself inside his apartment and set a fire. Officers eventually convinced him to jump from the balcony and took him into custody.

Davis said this call will always serve as a reminder to take all calls with the same sense of urgency.

“This just goes to show you that situations change and escalate and we take medical calls very frequently that do this,” Davis said. “It starts as one then and then changes to another.”

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