Thursday, June 19, 2008

911 refused to send help for school bus beatings

Pittsburgh Police said earlier this month four women boarded a high school bus and beat students. Bus driver Rena Billman said she called 911, but the dispatcher at first refused to send help.

"I was outraged because I didn't have any kind of backup," said Billman. "The dispatcher from 911 said he couldn't send a city cop because I was en route, and I was still moving, which was amazing to me."

Billman remained on the line with the dispatcher as the car followed close behind. When she stopped at another red light, police said the four women got out of the car, opened the emergency door, climbed into the bus and starting beating students.

Billman said she put the bus in park and remained on the phone with 911. She said she said to the dispatcher, "Are you satisfied now? I'm parked."

Billman then went to break up the fight, and the attackers took off. Three girls on the bus were left bloody and bruised.

The director of the 911 Center Bob Full said he's very disappointed with the handling of the call, and he has launched an investigation. Full said police should have been dispatched immediately. (info & photo from WPXI)

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