7-Year-Old Dials 9-1-1, Saves Family from Attack
Carlos, a 7-year-old boy who called 911 during a home invasion robbery as armed robbers threatened his parents poses with the dispatcher, Monique Patino, who took his call at the Los Angeles County Sheriff\'s dispatch center, Wednesday March 10, 2010 in N
March 11, 2010
NORWALK, Calif. (AP) – A 7-year-old boy who called 911 from a locked bathroom while armed robbers threatened his parents hugged and high-fived on Wednesday the sheriff’s dispatcher who took his call.
The boy, identified only as Carlos, told reporters at a news conference that he remained calm during the ordeal because his mother used to make him practice dialing 911 in case of emergencies.
How did his mother say he did?
“Excellent!” the second grader said.
Carlos, sporting a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. baseball cap, gave a hug to dispatcher Monique Patino, who called the boy “my little hero.”
“I said he was very brave and I’m very proud of what he did,” Patino said, occasionally dabbing tears from her cheek.
The assailants held the parents at gunpoint Tuesday while the boy and his 6-year-old sister hid in a bathroom. Carlos told Patino breathlessly that there was “some guy who’s going to kill my mom and dad” and begged authorities to “bring cops. A lot of them! … And bring soldiers, too.”
About 90 seconds into the call, his sister starts screaming as someone apparently breaks into the bathroom. The line stays connected, and a distraught-sounding Patino can be heard telling colleagues what she’d heard.
“Just hearing them scream and crying for help, I just felt their fear through the phone,” said Patino, herself a mother of 7- and 8-year-old children.
Carlos said there were three assailants. They left the home without stealing anything when Carlos told them he’d called 911, authorities said.
“I’m still astounded by his mindset,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Douglas Jensen said. “To be able to think about getting his sister, grabbing his phone, locking himself in a bathroom and calling 911. It shows so much.”