A 13-year-old girl placed an emergency telephone call to police moments before an intruder raped and stabbed her to death, but officers did not respond for 40 minutes because a police dispatcher labeled the call a routine juvenile disturbance, authorities said.
The officer who handled the call was relieved of duty yesterday while investigators reviewed a tape of the conversation.
Rena Pollard dialed the 911 emergency number Friday and spoke with dispatcher Glenn Metzler, an 18-year veteran, said Clyde Burdick, supervisor at the Dade Emergency Communications Center.
Burdick said Monday the girl told Metzler she believed a teen-ager was trying to break into her home, where she was baby-sitting with two small children.
The call came into the emergency center at 2:48 p.m., records show.
"Dade County Police and Fire," Metzler answered.
"Yes," the girl said. "There's someone trying to break into my house right now."
Metzler asked the girl her address, age and then asked who was outside, according to the tape.
"Some kid," the girl responded. "He's trying to get in."
"He's about 15 or 17."
"He live around there."
Metzler concluded the conversation by saying: "All right. I'll send the police over."
But police were not dispatched until 3:28 p.m., 40 minutes later. Officers arrived three minutes after they received the call, about the same time Pollard's mother returned home to find her dead daughter.