AP NEWS

Arkansas police threatened after drowning victim’s 911 call

September 3, 2019 GMT

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas police department has received more than 100 threats after a 911 dispatcher for the department scolded a frantic newspaper delivery woman for driving into floodwaters before she drowned.

Fort Smith police spokesman Aric Mitchell said Tuesday that the threats over the holiday weekend were made primarily to the city’s dispatch center from out-of-state callers and aren’t considered credible.

He told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that calls and messages ranged from vague insults to death threats.

In a 911 recording released last week, Debra Stevens was heard crying and begging for help, saying she could not swim.

Dispatcher Donna Reneau at one point tried to comfort Stevens but also told her, “This will teach you next time don’t drive in the water.”

Reneau was working her final shift when she took the call Aug. 24 and is no longer employed by the department.