Woman: Hung up on after calling 911 in D.C.

WASHINGTON – A woman in D.C. says her calls for help to 911 went unanswered after an attempted robbery, but city officials say the system was working properly.

ABC 7 reports the 28-year-old woman, whom the station is not identifying, claims someone wearing a ski mask pulled a gun on her in a robbery attempt Sunday night in Northeast.

The robber ran away shortly afterward, but the woman says her ordeal was far from over. She says she was hung up on after calling 911, and on her third attempt, she reached a recording.

“Just trying to explain to her that I was attacked by somebody, and then she said, ‘I’m going to hang up on you in 30 seconds,'” the woman tells ABC 7 about her second attempt to call.

The victim’s landlord eventually stepped in and called police, and officers responded.

The D.C. Office of Unified Communications, which handles the city’s 911 calls, issued a statement to ABC 7 responding to the allegations.

Officials confirm the calls registered, but say that “upon investigation only the call takers’ voice can be heard on the recording despite repeated requests for the caller to identify themselves and their emergency.”

“On all three occasions, two separate call takers experienced the same silence from this specific caller, which possibly indicates that the caller’s cell phone was muted, or that there was a carrier issue,” the statement says.

The center says its system is working properly and nearly 3,500 other calls were answered without incident that day.

This story has been modified.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @NickWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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