News 12 On Your SideA: Irritated 911 Operator Hangs Up on Bleeding Caller

By: Elizabeth Owens
By: Elizabeth Owens

AIKEN COUNTY, SC-- A 911 dispatcher hangs up on a frantic bleeding woman calling for help.

Sharon Jackson was attacked inside her Aiken County home on Friday. Investigators say Lori LaValee violently beat her. Jackson suffered black-eyes, bruises and a concussion from the attack. However, its not the attack that still has her upset but rather how a 911 operator treated when she was in fear for life.

"I had blood everywhere. I could barley dial my phone because it had blood all over it," Sharon Jackson said. Jackson dialed 911 as soon as she could away from her attacker.

Jackson: "She is beating the hell out of me. I've just snuck out of my house to keep her from beating me. I'm bleeding everywhere."
911 Operator: "Where did she say..."
Jackson: "And I need y'all down here. Now I need ya'll down here yesterday."
911: "Unless (inaudible) you listen my questions we could get to you. Calm your tail down where are you bleeding from and how?"

The operator then hangs up on Jackson:

911 Operator: "Calm down we are on the way."
Jackson: "Don't tell me I'm yelling..."
911 Operator: "Bye ma'am we are on the way. Goodbye ma'am we are on the way."

"And that is exactly what she done. She hung up," Jackson said. "I thought to myself, I'm going to die." Jackson believed the operator left her for dead. Help did arrive minutes later but those minutes were longest of her life.

Elizabeth Owens "Is that appropriate behavior?"
Sheriff Michael Hunt: "That is not appropriate behavior. No."

Sheriff Michael Hunt says dispatchers are trained to deal with frantic callers but his operator failed that day. "Instead of the dispatcher deescalating the situation or somehow taking control she hung up," Hunt said.

The dispatcher has since been disciplined. The operator has worked for the department for nine years.

"She don't need to be in that profession," Jackson said.

Time will eventually heal Jackson's bruises but she's unsure if her faith in 911 will ever be the same.


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