Police search for and find student who called 911 after falling into trench

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CLEVELAND - "I don't know where I am. I'm lost somehow down in a trench in Cleveland."

That’s the call a Cleveland City dispatcher received early Saturday morning.

A college student from Iowa City, Iowa is lucky to be alive after he fell down a trench and couldn’t get out.

“I don’t know; I don’t know where I am,” said Benjamin, who asked that we don’t use his last name. “I am down in the trench in Cleveland.”

After drinking at a downtown bar, Benjamin got separated from his friends and somehow ended up in a  6-foot deep trench in an industrial area off of Independence Road.

Overnight dispatchers, as well as officers from the second district, spent nearly two hours talking to him and combing the area trying to find him.

“These guys are just absolute heroes, the way they take care of people; they weren't going to stop until they found that gentleman. I don't know if he would have survived the night or not,” said Steve Loomis, police union president.

Temperatures were in the low 30s Saturday morning. Benjamin was rescued and had a few scrapes and bruises.  He was taken to the hospital and treated and released.

The I-Team was able to track down Benjamin on his cell phone as he was at the airport catching a flight home.

“I was in a world of trouble,” Benjamin said.  “I didn't know where I was. I didn't know how I got there. She [the dispatcher] was able to figure things out, stay on the phone with me.”

Benjamin said he is embarrassed, but very thankful to officers and the dispatcher.

“I literally owe my life to this woman,” Benjamin said.

Cleveland police officials said it was very important to keep Benjamin awake and talking.

“The dispatcher was able to keep him on the phone and extract the information we needed to located him,” said Jennifer Ciaccia, police spokeswoman.

Police also credit Chad Winans, a worker familiar with the industrial area off of Independence Road, in helping police find the exact location where Benjamin was stuck.


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