(WATERBURY, Conn.) — A 911 operator has been fired from the Waterbury Police Department for what the department called unacceptable behavior during an August emergency call about an alleged robbery shooting.
On Aug. 23, police said Rolando Alvarez, a delivery man for a Chinese food restaurant, called 911 to report that he and coworker Helena Vargas, 59, had been attacked by several men and women, according to ABC News affiliate WTNH-TV. At the time, police said, he and Vargas were making a delivery to 70 Linden St. in Waterbury, Connecticut, around 9:30 p.m.
Police said that when the two arrived, they were approached by two males and two females. During the alleged robbery, police said, Vargas was shot. Police said 911 operator Nicole Scarino, a seven-year veteran, had taken Alvarez’s call.
In the 911 call, Scarino asks the caller’s address and appears to have difficulty understanding Alvarez.
“Waterbury 911. What’s the address?” Scarino says.
“Yea, uh 70 Linden Street,” Alvarez says.
“770 Linden Street?” she asks.
“No, no, no. 70,” Alvarez responds.
“7-0? … 70 is 7-0. That’s what 70 is, 7 and a 0. Linden Street?” Scarino says.
During the more than four-minute call, Scarino sounds as if she is growing agitated, sighing loudly and increasingly raising her voice.
Initially, Waterbury police put her on leave, pending a formal review into the 911 call.
Thursday, the department confirmed that she had been fired. Scarino was unable to be reached for comment.
Police told ABC News Thursday that its investigation found Scarino had committed a number of different violations from their policy for civilian personnel employed by the department, including violations within the duties of a 911 operator.
Vargas was pronounced dead at a hospital at 10 p.m. Police said Thursday that Scarino’s behavior during the call had no bearing on Vargas’ death. They said there was no delay in getting emergency personnel to the scene of the shooting.
Police said four individuals, including three juveniles, had been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged robbery and shooting. The juveniles’ cases would be transferred to adult court, police said Thursday.
All four face charges ranging from felony murder and robbery to criminal use of a firearm. They have been arraigned and are currently in detention.
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