Police take 30 hours to respond to 911 call

February 16, 2010

Jim Mulhall


On Feb. 11, the owner of K-Jon’s Fine Jewelers called 911 requesting law enforcement’s help with a man who was harassing a female customer. Atascadero Police failed to respond.

Shortly after 10 a.m., a man reeking of alcohol approached the female customer outside the jewelry store. He said he was a felon and he wanted money.

He followed her into the store staying at her side as she moved through the shop.

When he turned his head and looked down at a jewelry case, the terrified customer mouthed to the general manager, Angela Cisneros, “I don’t know him. Help me.” Cisneros went to the back room and asked the store’s owner, Stan Sherwin, for help.

“He kept saying he was with her, ‘this is my girlfriend,’ which was clearly not the case,” Sherwin said.  “I asked him to step outside so we could discuss the matter.

“I yelled to my staff to call the police and stepped around the cases to get him out of my store, fully expecting to be in a fight or have a knife or a gun drawn,” Sherwin added.

The man then attempted to reenter the store. Sherwin shoved him out and locked the door.

“They (police dispatchers) wanted to know how bad an emergency it was,” Sherwin said. “Why can’t they just send a unit down?”

K-Jon’s Fine Jewelry store sits approximately one block north of the police department.

“Extremely upset,” Sherwin then called 911 from his cell phone. The 911 call routed to San Luis Obispo Highway Patrol dispatchers who reported the emergency to Atascadero Police dispatchers. The Atascadero Police Department employee then called Sherwin and the two argued over how long it had been since the call for help, Sherwin said.

“Who cares if it takes five minutes as long as they show up,” Sherwin said. “The timeframe doesn’t bother me. It’s that they never arrived.”

After standing for a few minutes at the store window and screaming, “Let me in,” the man gave up and went to the Century 21 office next door.  He walked in and began making vulgar comments to the real estate office’s administrative assistant, Christine Chersicla.

“He kept saying ‘you are so fucking beautiful,’” Chersicla said. “He got pretty foul.”

She convinced him to walk outside, where he spotted Sherwin approaching and ran. Sherwin, still on the phone, told the dispatcher the man was running toward the police station and watched as a police car followed him.

Though police detained the man for a short period of time, he was back in front of the jewelry store within 10 minutes, Sherwin said.

“No one on my staff believes we have any police help,” Sherwin said. “We are on an island by ourselves.”

The entire incident was recorded on film by the store’s 13 cameras that record the shop’s daily activities.

Within 30 minutes of owner Stan Sherwin informing Joanne Main of the Chamber of Commerce of the failure to respond, Atascadero Police Chief Jim Mulhall stopped by K-Jon’s Jewelry store, more than 30 hours after the 911 emergency call.

Earlier today, Mulhall assigned Sergeant Robert Molle to investigate Sherwin’s concerns.

“The concerns have been brought to our attention and we are looking into it,” Molle said.

Sherwin also sent letters to members of the city council and the city manager detailing the incident.

“I want a better response next time,” Sherwin said. “There needs to be a full investigation.”

In order to receive federal 911 subsidies, law enforcement agencies are required to respond to 911 calls for assistance.

“My number one concern, when I am running 10 employees, is their safety,” Sherwin added.

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Guess you should have wasted the dude.12 gauge with 00 shot would work.

Should of called and told them there were minors smoking in the store.The SWAT team would of been there in a flash.

This is ridiculous. What is wrong with this police department. Went from a lecherous police chief to one who is just incompetent. Despite the problems the Sherriffs’ Dept has had, I must say I got a 15 minute response time in Templeton when I reported kids kicking a cat.

Great, so the idiot ATPD don’t show up to a jewelery store disturbance. Sounds like a good place to commit a crime said the thieves. What the hell is going on with this! Worthless pigs!

I forgot the best part. When the employee initially calls 911 and tells the dispatcher they need help over at the Jewelry store, the dispatcher asks “how big of an emergency is it”? It was 10AM in the morning ,in Atascadero. What happens in Atascadero at 10:AM in the morning? I’ll tell you what happens, DONUTS, that’s what HAPPENS. I see them at the AM/PM around 10 O’clock in the morning getting their donuts and coffee.

What the ??? Let me get this straight.

A local merchant comes to the aide of a customer who has just been threatened, extorted and been taken possession of by a criminal.

He instructs his employee to call 911while he assists the victim.

The criminal gives him a difficult time but he finally gets him out of the store only to find that now merchant next door is in trouble and she is alone.

The police station is only 1/2 a block away and the merchant is expecting them any second but he can’t wait and so he goes next door to protect his neighboring shop owner.

He then manages to get everyone into his store and locks the door while the criminal bangs on the window.

He calls 911 again and reaches the CHP who in turn contact the dispatcher at the ADP.

The dispatcher at the ADP doesn’t think that this guy must really need help since he called again and doesn’t think to get on the HORN to the officer who is supposed to be en-route and let him know that he needs to step on it.

NOPE she doesn’t think that.

She calls the victim back and asks him if he called 911 again. OF COURSE HE CALLED 911 AGAIN, THE CHP JUST TOLD HER THAT HE CALLED 911.

Then she takes the time to argue with him about how long it was since his first phone call.

Now If I have this right, that dispatcher is a menace and needs a different job.

I’m not done yet.

The police finally show up and spot the criminal down the road a bit between the business and the police station.

The criminal has (in the last 15 minutes) told a woman he was a felon and told her to give him her money. He then took her arm and stayed with her where ever she went. He then refused to leave a local establishment and had to be put out only to try and return and then bang on windows. He also approached a woman who was in a compromising situation and told her that he wanted to fuck her.

10 minutes after the police arrived (across the street) the criminal was back in front of establishment where it all started.

Way to go Atascadero P.D. You didn’t do a single thing right. I hope your embarrassed, you should be. I also think we pay you too much.

Also , lucky there was no physical harm here , sociological maybe a different story .

Nancy, like Frietas, maybe they new him, Gearhart’s long lost cousin? Sometimes people get a walk, something just doesn’t ad up here, like lousy police work in the middle of all the negative police publicity, CCN gives them shit, so they go find more to roll in? Seems like the Simson’s cop again,”nice work boys,let’s get back to the station,” animated officer,”We are at the station.” Maybe the cops aught to tighten up the ship.

Good to see Atascadero PD doing such a fine job. The chief, dispatcher and whom ever was on duty, in charge should be held responsible. There is no excuse for this type of behavior.

HEY HEY HEY, NOW. Before anybody starts picking on Atascadero P.D. lets give them the benifit of the doubt.

One. They could have been way down at Adobe Plaze at Sunshine Donuts and couldn’t be bothered. Or worse further down the street at D.K. Donuts.

Two. They wanted to call SLO P.D. like they did when they busted down the Laundry mat window this past summer but maybe SLO P.D. was busy holding peoples eyelids open to pepper spray.

They could have called Paso P.D. but the Police Chief was probably still looking for her gun.

They did call the CHP but they handed it off. Probably to make sure their Capt. didn’t have to drive there in case he was drinking.

So I mean comon people what do you think we pay these guys for?

(Note Sarcasm intended)

Nothing like a dispatcher with an attitude. She was probably getting paid double time too because it was a holiday. What’s worse is when someone calls them in a panic wanting them to send an ambulance and they want all this information and the more upset the caller becomes (while trying to answer the questions in between asking if they have sent the ambulance yet) the more obtuse the dispatcher becomes by telling the person to calm down ……..and they still haven’t dispatched the ambulance !!

With that said, the police probably didn’t think they needed to stop by to see Sherwin because they had already talked to the dangerous guy with the mental illness. That guy should have been arrested or at least gone in for 72 hours observation. He had already attempted to extort a woman and make sexual advances at another one. He also trespassed when he re-entered the jewelry store.

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