CLEVELAND — Two Cleveland police dispatchers have been honored with the Medal of Valor for what they did after receiving 911 calls from a man tied up in the back of a truck, a case revealed a few months ago by the I-TEAM with exclusive police video.
The Rotary Club honored Kaylee McCoy and Yvette White.
They both took calls from a man saying he was tied up and wrapped in a tarp in the back of a truck, and he had no idea where he was when he made the calls. In fact, he said he’d been attacked and robbed, and he didn’t even have a phone.
It turns out he called 911 with the help of a hi-tech watch.
“I almost didn’t believe it when I took the initial call,” McCoy said.
“He was hysterical. I asked him, ‘Could he see anything that was around him?’ He told me there was a tarp over him,” said White.
McCoy added, “We ended up getting disconnected, and he called back and got Yvette.”
Then White added, “And the more I talked to him, the more I realized he’s telling me, he’s on this watch. ‘I have my watch. They don’t know about this watch.’”
Again, the man calling with his hi-tech watch didn`t know where he was, so how could dispatchers get him help? Well, he mentioned a possible suspect.
One of those calltakers did a search of the name online just to see if she could find an address. And she found it.
“And I went to Google property. There it was,” White explained.
In no time, the dispatch center had Cleveland police there to make the rescue. In fact, they found the man tied up just as he had described.
Months later, records show the crime still unsolved. But the victim lived to tell about it and he can thank those dispatchers first.
McCoy said, “I remember reading the report the next day, like, ‘Oh my gosh, that really did happen.’”
And White said, “And it takes those calls to bring you back to focus to make you realize, ‘I am important. I’m here.’”
Cool heads, quick-thinking and now, recognition for a life saved from inside the Cleveland 911 Center.