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‘Where are the police?’ 911 callers wait as toddlers play on second-story ledge

Police in Vallejo, California, say 911 calls about toddlers spotted on a second-story window ledge Tuesday night were misprioritized, KNTV reported, leading to a 30-minute wait for emergency response.
Police in Vallejo, California, say 911 calls about toddlers spotted on a second-story window ledge Tuesday night were misprioritized, KNTV reported, leading to a 30-minute wait for emergency response. KNTV screenshot

On his way out of kung fu class Tuesday, 9-year-old Branson Thrower looked up and spotted a diaper-clad boy playing on a second-story window ledge, KTVU reported.

“What I thought was, a kid was going to jump, and that would be the end of it — he would die!” Branson said, according to the station.

The boy and another child were spotted about 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Temple Art Lofts in downtown Vallejo, California, prompting several calls to police, KTVU reported. The doors to the building were locked, preventing witnesses from going to their aid.

“Oh my god! Oh my god. Where are the police?” Marianne Kearney-Brown says in a bystander video of the children on the ledge, according to KPIX.

But despite several 911 calls, police did not respond to the incident for 30 minutes, KGO reported. By then, the children had safely gone back inside on their own.

“It just seemed that there was a lack of urgency, you know, we said over and over again, ‘Two children are hanging out of a window we need someone immediately,’” Yaselin Thrower said, according to KTVU.

Vallejo police said the delayed response was a mistake, KNTV reported.

“It warranted an immediate response and we didn’t do that,” Lt. Jason Potts said, according to the station. “We’re going to look at procedures and protocols, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ll fix this mistake.”

Kearney-Brown said 911 dispatchers didn’t seem that concerned about the situation, according to KPIX.

“I was just kind of stunned,” she said, according to the station. “Something terrible could’ve happened.”

Police are still trying to contact the parents of the children, reported KTVU.

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