“I probably don’t have much time left. Tell my mom I love her if I die,” 16-year-old Kyle Plush told police—who had no problem ignoring him until it was too late.
Cincinnati, OH — A tragic case of police incompetence unfolded this week which led to the death of a young boy who desperately needed police help, calling 911 multiple times, but died as they ignored his pleas.
Kyle Plush, a 16-year-old high school sophomore suffered a tragic fate this week as he was crushed to death in the back of his family’s minivan. Somehow, Kyle had gotten trapped under the third row seat while the car was parked in the school parking lot and he was unable to free himself.
After he was trapped, Kyle managed to reach his cellphone and dialed 911 to beg police to come help him. Despite calling 911 twice, however, police ignored his calls. The subject of these calls is now under investigation as the lack of response led to the boy succumbing to asphyxiation and dying.
“I’m going to die here,” the sophomore told the dispatcher during his first 911 call, which was placed shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. “I probably don’t have much time left. Tell my mom I love her if I die.”
According to police, they say that in the call recording, the dispatcher can be heard asking Kyle for his location several times but it was unclear if he heard the operators questions.
As FOX reports, Cincinnati police and a Hamilton County deputy sheriff responded to the area but couldn’t locate Plush. The dispatcher attempted to call Plush’s phone but there was no answer.
Police apparently thought Kyle had prank called them and one officer even suggested as much. However, Kyle set it clear on the second call, made at at 3:35 p.m., during which he explained to another dispatcher that “this is not a joke.”
“I am trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of the Seven Hills. … Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
As WCPO reports, at several points in the second three-minute call, during which the operator does not respond and loud banging or heavy breathing can be heard, he attempts to call on the Siri automated iPhone assistant without success.
In spite of giving police an exact description of where he was and what make and model vehicle he was trapped in — nothing was done — and Kyle died.
“The young man was trapped in the third row bench seat, and it is called positional asphyxiation,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, who is launching a comprehensive investigation, said. “We are actively trying to identify experts to assist in us in this investigation.”
Not until five hours later did his family member discover Kyle in the back of the van. By then, however, it was too late. Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco would rule Kyle’s death accidental “asphyxia caused by chest compression.”
According to Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac, the 911 operator had never relayed the make and model of the vehicle because the “dispatcher did not communicate with the caller.” Indeed, the silence during the call proves this lack of communication.
“Something has gone terribly wrong,” Isaac said at a Thursday news conference. “We need to find out why.”
According to Isaac, the dispatcher who took the second call has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Police are also looking into how, exactly, the teen became trapped in the first place.
Why the boy didn’t call a family member also remains unclear. However, had he done so, rest assured that it would not have been perceived as a prank.