Trenton Man Who Fought Intruder Says Police Took Too Long to Arrive

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, May 7, 2013  |  Updated 8:07 PM EDT
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A Trenton crime victim claims the wait for help was more than 20 minutes long.

NBC10.com

A Trenton crime victim claims the wait for help was more than 20 minutes long.

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A Mercer County man is questioning the response time of the Trenton Police Department after fighting off an intruder.

Dan Dodson told the Hunterdon County Democrat that a drunk and belligerent man walked into the entrance of his apartment building on the 300 block of South Broad Street Sunday night. Dodson says he began to scuffle with the man as his wife called 911. According to Dodson, the operator told his wife to call the non-emergency number and to call them back if the situation got worse.

“Alright, we’ll try to get someone out there soon,” said the operator in the 911 call. “Right now we don’t have anyone available. As soon as we can we’ll send them out. If it escalates, give us a call back.”

Dodson says he eventually forced the man out of the building after a 10 minute fight. While the man was finally out of his home, Dodson claims police were nowhere to be found. Dodson told the paper two officers finally arrived a little over 20 minutes after the initial 911 call. No arrests have been made.

Dodson, who was once active in city government, according to the paper, is worried that Trenton Police are no longer taking certain crime reports seriously. Trenton Police Director, Ralph Rivera Jr., reviewed the 911 call and addressed Dodson’s concerns.

“It should be noted that the front door was left open,” he said. “It’s not the victim’s fault. But I don’t want to spread fear that people are busting into people’s homes because that’s not the case.”

Rivera says the report was a priority 5 disorderly persons call indicating that the intoxicated man had gained entry to the common area of an apartment building, not Dodson’s home. Next door neighbor Heydy Garcia says she didn’t hear anything.

“I went to sleep around 8:30,” she said. “I didn’t see anything.”

Rivera says he spoke to both his communications director as well as the two officers who responded.

“Everything was handled properly, appropriately and expeditiously, considering the amount of calls we had in the city at that time,” he said.

Rivera says that despite having 143 fewer officers than they did out on the street two years ago, the responses have been on time.

Dodson disagrees however.

“No amount of news coverage will correct Trenton’s economic, crime and management issues,” he wrote in an email.
 

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