On April 10, Kyle Plush, a 16-year-old, made two calls to 911 for help because he’d gotten stuck in his Honda Odyssey van seats, after presumably reaching behind him to grab his tennis bag. The incident ended in tragedy, as police failed to find the boy in time. Kyle died of asphyxia due to chest compression, and he was found six hours after his first call to 911.
A police report released on Monday has been deemed insufficient by city officials, including Mayor John Cranley, who said that “It’s clear to me the report we have is incomplete…We need to get the answers.” Additionally, Councilman Greg Landman commented that “This raises more questions than were answered,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Kyle’s father, Ron Plush, also would like more answers.
One of the pieces of information that stand out from the police report is that police never got out of their patrol cars to look for someone trapped in a car. Police claimed that they “could cover more ground by remaining in the vehicle and looking out both sides,” detailed CNN. At first, police believed they were looking for an elderly woman.
Moreover, the 911 dispatcher Stephanie Magee claimed that she could not hear Kyle properly throughout the call, missing key statements of him stating that he’s “going to die here” without help. A second operator listened to the call, and they heard Kyle say, “Help me I’m going to die. I’m in a van at Seven Hills (inaudible) shop.” The second operator told Magee to dispatch officers to the store.
When the two officers Edsel Osborne and Brian Brazile arrived at Seven Hills, they drove around for 14 minutes. The closest they got to Kyle was the parking lot across the street from where Kyle was. The officers violated protocol by turning their body cameras on when they got to the scene but turning them off after three minutes.
A second 911 call from Kyle went unheard, as this time the dispatcher, Amber Smith, could not hear him. It’s unknown whether it was a malfunction on the side of the dispatcher, and was classified as a “silent call.” However, a recording later revealed Kyle describing the van’s make, model, and color.
Meanwhile, the police report says that 911 operators and police “acted appropriately and reasonably last month in their response to Kyle’s calls.”
Ron Plush wants to work with the city to improve the 911 system to ensure a similar tragedy does not happen again, according to MSN News.
The investigation is not yet over, with the Hamilton County sheriff’s office and county prosecutor’s office both conducting their own investigations.