Accosted store manager unhappy with response - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Accosted store manager unhappy with response

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June 7, 2007


Albany  -- A convenience store manager criticizes slow response from police to an emergency at her store. She called 911 Wednesday when two customers roughed her up, and it took police nearly an hour and a half to show up.

Store employees what to know what went wrong, and how safe they are on the job if it takes so long for help to come.

Two angry customers hit Stephanie Miles in the face and threatened to kill her outside the Bald Eagle Food Store on Ledo Road. Her cell phone shows she called 911 at 10:45. Police reports say the first Albany Police Officer responded at 12:07, an hour and 22 minutes later.

Miles called the response time "Honestly pathetic."

A man they estimated to be in his late 20's got mad because the store clerk would not sell him a 69 cent cigar because he did not ID. Then the clerk would not sell it to his friend, because he said he was going to give it to the man without ID. The two men starting threatening Miles outside the front window as she walked up.

"That's when he hit me," Miles said. "And that's when he got in my face and was basically poking me in my face, telling me that 'I will kill you. Blah, blah, blah,' and that's when I called the police."

Because of their location, Miles cell phone call was picked up by Lee County 911, and she talked with that emergency operator until she was switched to Dougherty County 911. Then they waited, and waited.

Assistant Store Manager Brian Schlegel said "It was at least an hour. I even went as far to recall the police."

Corporal Jon Segroves report says he did not get the dispatch until 11:55, and he arrived at the store at 12:07. The officer apologized for the long wait.

Miles said "He was sorry, that they were running short on staff, and that he does not work the streets."

Miles gave Police pictures of the two men and their car, and tag number. It was stolen.

Today the Bald Eagle staff kept a close eye on the parking lot for the two men, feeling isolated. Schlegel said "It's scary enough to work in a curb store, convenience store by itself. Without having to worry about if you call the police if you need them, that they are going to show or not."

Albany Police spokespersons say do not know why the 911 call took so long to be dispatched. We filed Freedom of Information requests with both Albany and Lee County 911 centers for their records of this emergency call.  They have three days to respond.

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