911 Dispatcher: “If He Shoots You, Call Back”

(Memphis) When Tonya Harvey found herself in the middle of a road rage incident on I-240, she called 911.

“A burgundy truck just hit me on the interstate and ran me off the road,” said Harvey in the 911 recording from May 8 at 7:28 a.m.

Today, she’s more upset with how a 911 dispatcher handled her call when she called back three minutes later, than she is with the man who scared her on the road that day.

“I am at Getwell and American Way,” said Harvey in the 911 call at 7:33 a.m. “He drove me off the road. He pulled on my door trying to get in my car and beat on my window. I am afraid. Where are the police?”

“You called three minutes ago,” said the dispatcher.

“I understand that, but what if he shoots me? Then what?” asked Harvey.

“If he shoots you ma’am, call back in and give us that information,” said the dispatcher.

“How the hell am I going to call back in if I am shot?” said Harvey.

“Don’t yell at me. I am not the officer and making any…” said the dispatcher.

The 911 recording ended at that point.

‘The reason why I felt it was so outrageous, was because the response I got back from our 911 services of ‘If he shoots you, just call back’. That means you don’t care about me, my life, my family. What would happen to my family if something were to happen to me?” asked Harvey.

Harvey admits she followed the enraged driver to a gas station on American Way and blocked him in so he wouldn’t leave until police got there.

As far as she knows, the man never had a gun and did stay until police arrived.

However, Tonya says as someone who’s worked in human resources for the last 15 years, she doesn’t believe the 911 dispatcher who spoke to her that day is the right woman for the job.

“You are in the wrong type of job if that is the attitude and demeanor you are going to possess,” said Harvey.

While WREG is waiting for a response from the dispatch center on how managers believe the call was handled, Tonya sent her complaints about the dispatcher to the Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

You can listen to the call using this player:

54 comments

  • Hard Truths

    The Memphis gene pool is largely a cesspool. If this city were wiped off the face of the Earth, it would just be another day. Rednecks and hoodies. Not a triple-digit IQ in the bunch.

    • Hard Truths

      There are some smart, VERY smart people in Memphis. I bet most of them work at St. Jude.
      Is Memphis, collectively, so mentally disabled that we are simply NOT capable of governing ourselves.
      It sure looks that way to me.

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