Feb 07, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Albuquerque police said the dispatcher on the other end of a 911 call where Omaree Varela, 9, was being verbally abused is understandably upset that the officers chose not to listen even though she urged them to.
Target 7 broke the story of a 911 call where Omaree was being verbally abused by two adults and the police response, or lack of response, to that call. Six months later, Omaree was killed in his home and his mother was charged with the crime.
Shortly after the call, the dispatcher traced the call to the home of Omaree Varela on Comanche Road. She makes the call a priority one, meaning it’s urgent.
The 911 dispatcher told the officers that what she heard on the call was bad. She said, “You need to hear the 911 call to hear how bad it was. I can play it for you over the phone.”
Albuquerque Police Department Chief Allen Banks said the dispatcher was upset.
“Our dispatcher actually tries to reach out to the officer and say, ‘Hey, listen to this 911 tape. It’s disturbing. (It) sounds like verbal abuse.’ And the officer never listened to the 911,” Banks said.
Banks said the officers went to the home where the call came from but several mistakes like not listening to the 911 call, not contacting child protective services and spending only 15 minutes at the home when they were logged out on the call for nearly two hours.
The officers, Scott McMurrough and Gill Vigil, are on leave during an internal investigation.
Even after the visit to the home, the dispatcher again told the officers this wasn’t just a man who snapped at his stepchildren; it was abuse.
According to the log sheet the dispatcher said, “Can you call me and listen to the tape so that when you talk to CYFD you can actually tell them how bad it was. If you want to.”
Omaree’s mother, Synthia Varela Casaus, has been charged with her son’s death.