Gruesome Tale of a 911 Dispatcher
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (CN) - A 911 dispatcher lay in wait and attacked a woman in her own house, and when she called 911 for help it did not send any officers because her attacker took the phone and told his coworker not to, even as she shouted "he's going to kill me," the woman claims in court.
Lisa Flynn sued the County of Cambria and the Cambria County Department of Emergency Services in Federal Court.
Flynn claims she suffered physical and sexual assault at the hands of 911 dispatcher Charles Pavlosky, who is not named as a defendant.
Flynn claims that the defendants were well aware that Charles Pavlosky became violent at the end of their relationship in early 2012.
She claims in the lawsuit that she had placed two emergency calls on Jan. 25, 2012, when Pavlosky pushed her down a flight of steps at an Italian Club and then continued shoving her in the parking lot.
Pavlosky was cited for harassment that night at the club when the police were summoned to the parking lot, and then again several hours later when Pavlosky grabbed and physically assaulted Flynn at her house, according to the complaint.
Police were summoned by 911 during both assaults, Flynn says in the lawsuit. She claims that the Department of Emergency Services suspended Pavlosky for two weeks after the January assaults.
Flynn says that Pavlosky attacked her again in the early hours of May 6, 2012, as she arrived home from the Italian Club.
"When she entered her house, Charles Pavlosky was hiding inside," the complaint states. "He grabbed her, threw her to the floor, and attempted to suffocate her, while yelling 'die, die, you don't deserve to live.'
"During the struggle, plaintiff managed to grab her cell phone and dial 9-1-1. Pavlosky grabbed the phone from plaintiff and spoke with the 9-1-1 operator, instructing them not to send the police. During the conversation, plaintiff was screaming for help that 'he's going to kill me.'
"As a result of Pavlosky speaking to a co-worker at defendant's 9-1-1 call center, and despite defendant's awareness that Charles Pavlosky had physically assaulted plaintiff in January 2012, the 9-1-1 dispatcher did not dispatch to plaintiff's residence.
"Because no police were summoned, Pavlosky again violently physically and sexually assaulted plaintiff, until she was able to escape.
"Upon escaping, plaintiff was taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment, and Charles Pavlosky was arrested and charged with various crimes, including but not limited to simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment, aggravated assault and theft."
Flynn claims the defendants acted under the color of state law and created a danger for her by failing to dispatch police to help despite her "desperate call for help" to an emergency services call center.
"Given defendant's knowledge that its employee, Charles Pavlosky, had physically assaulted plaintiff several months earlier, it was foreseeable that plaintiff would be harmed and inured by failing to dispatch police when plaintiff called for help, especially when defendants knew that its employees, Charles Pavlosky, with plaintiff while she was calling 9-1-1 for help," the complaint states.
Flynn seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations and negligence.
She is represented by Cindy Stine of Greensburg, Pa.