Woman Waits 35 Minutes On 911 While Intruder Breaks In

January 13th, 2011 by Staff

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. - A Williamson County woman fought off an intruder with a vacuum cleaner. She was desperate for help, waiting for almost 35 minutes for law enforcement to arrive.

The single mom described that 35 minutes like the scene of a horror movie as she watched a man walk from windows to doors doing anything to break in to her home.

It was a startling discovery that Robin Ribeiro made at 2 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday.

“I see a man at my door and Amber is up there and I go there is a man!” said Ribeiro.

But Ribeiro was even more shocked by what happened over the next 35 minutes. That’s how long it took for her to get law enforcement to her house.

“I am saying the police ‘where are they? Where are they?’ And they say they are on their way, they’re on their way,” recalled Ribeiro.

Ribeiro, her 8-year-old daughter and roommate were terrified and unarmed. As the minutes passed, she continued to wonder where was the help.

In the first few minutes of her 911 you can hear her ask:

RIBEIRO: Is someone on the way?

DISPATCHER: Yes, they’ve been on the way since you called.

But as they watched the intruder move from windows to doors desperately trying to break in, Ribeiro desperately asks again:

DISPATCH: As fast as they can. You hear or see anything right now?

RIBEIRO: No, I don’t. Where are they?

That’s when the man breaks through the kitchen door and the 911 call turns scary

RIBEIRO: (screams)…is he in there! Get out! He opened it! I don’t know how he opened it!

“He gets in and I am screaming and I am still on 911 and Mrs. Amber Alabama gets the Shark Vacuum and gets them out the door,” said Ribeiro.

“It was really terrible, I had to beat him out the door with a vacuum cleaner,” said Amber Brinkley.

And all the while, no deputy at the door.

RIBEIRO: Aomeone needs to please come.

DISPATCH: They are about on your street ma’am.

After 14 minutes on the phone, Williamson County deputies pull into the driveway and arrest 24-year-old Jonathan Jirikovec.

“I can’t imagine the terror they were going through in those minutes,” said Captain Roddy Parker with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.

Parker said the cause of the delay was two fold: the first, a technological glitch.

Since Ribeiro dialed 911 on her cell phone it first hit a metro tower, they then transferred her to Franklin, then finally to her jurisdiction in Williamson County.

The second part: a casualty of the economy. Budget cuts meant Williamson County only had 6 officers patrolling 583 square miles on Tuesday night.

“In a perfect world, I would like 15-20 more officers but we also realize the reality of the situation,” said Parker.

But Ribeiro never thought budget cuts would leave her fighting a criminal in her kitchen.

“Let’s do something as a community, if they are understaffed lets hire people,” said Ribeiro.

While the total 911 call was 30 minutes, Williamson County was able to respond 14 minutes after it was transferred to them. .

They said there was not a deputy patrolling in that part of the county which is why it took even that long.

They added they are doing the best they can with the staff they have, one that hasn’t hired a new patrol deputy in 3 years.

Williamson County Sheriff’s department said they are going to ask Commissioners for more money in March in hopes of hiring more deputies in the next fiscal year.

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