A Cleveland man got into an argument with is boyfriend that turned violent, and called 911 while he was in the process of strangling him with a belt.
George Rauls can be heard on the emergency call saying, “I need a cop cause me and my boyfriend got into it. And I’m about to kill him.”
“What’s your boyfriend’s name?” asks dispatch.
“Is he a white male, black male?” the female dispatcher asks.
“He’s black,” responds Rauls. “Why does all this matter?”
“Sir, it’s proper procedure,” says the dispatcher.
“I have a belt wrapped around his neck, and I’m choking him,” replies an audibly frustrated Rauls.
The conversation, which you can hear for yourself below, is quite disturbing considering Rauls’ former boyfriend, Christopher Hardy, is silently choking to death nearby.
It took police nearly twelve minutes to respond, and nine minutes to even call an ambulance.
Police say a lack of available cars in the area accounts for the slow response, nearly three and a half minutes above the average time for high priority calls.
An assistant safety director reviewed the tape for local Fox 8 News and concluded that “the dispatcher did a good job of handling the situation on a 12-minute phone call.”
The city also found that the response time of police was within “an acceptable range.”
Call us crazy, but telling someone in the midst of committing a crime of passion about “proper procedure” does not seem like it should be, for lack of a better phrase, proper procedure.
Fox 8 repots that George Rauls has now been indicted for murder, and records show he is pleading not guilty.
The incident happened March 1 on West 111th. Christopher Hardy was strangled to death.
Police arrested George Rauls for murder after he called 911.
The tape shows the first thing Rauls says is, “I need a cop cause me and my boyfriend got into it. And I’m about to kill him.”
As the dispatcher asks routine questions, you hear the caller ask, “Why does this matter? “I have a belt wrapped around his neck, and I’m choking him.”
The dispatcher repeatedly tells the caller that police are on their way. But after nearly nine minutes the man asks, “OK. Why is it taking so long?”
The dispatcher responds “I don’t know where they’re coming from. Couldn’t tell you where they’re coming from.”
It actually took police a total of nearly 12 minutes to get there. The Cleveland Police union president blames short staffing. Steve Loomis told the I-Team when that call came in, police cars in that district were already on high-priority matters. So dispatchers had to wait for a car to send to the call for the murder in progress.
“They were looking for about three minutes for a car to become available. These guys got the assignment. They got there in a timely fashion. But they came from the south side of the city.”
The dispatcher also asked the caller questions such as, “You letting up on the belt?” And, “Do you hear anything coming from him like short breaths?”
In the end, Cleveland City Hall says police arrived in about 11 minutes 50 seconds. The city says the average response time for top-priority calls is about 8 minutes 30 seconds.
No telling whether the victim might be alive if police had gotten there earlier. But with a suspect calling police and then asking about response time, we had to ask too.
George Rauls has now been indicted for murder. Records show he is pleading not guilty.
An assistant safety director reviewed the tape for us. He concluded the dispatcher did a good job of handling the situation on a 12-minute phone call. The city says despite the delay in getting police there, the city found the response time within an acceptable range considering other calls at the time.