Lee County, FL -- A woman is dead, and a deputy is on paid vacation after deciding to go to lunch instead of respond to a 9-1-1 call.
Sheriff Micke Scott thinks his deputy should be fired for not showing up.
At approximately 1:00 pm someone called 9-1-1 and dispatchers say that the person on the other end of the phone was silent. It would later be discovered that it was 47-year-old Gwen Minis calling. She had just gotten out of the hospital after suffering from a heart attack.
Minis' brother found his sister lying face down with ants crawling all over her body. She had her phone in one hand and a bottle of pills in the other.
It would be nearly an hour before any "help" would show up. Sadly, this would prove to be far too late for Gwen Minis.
When the call came in, it was immediately dispatched by the operator.
“We know that we dispatched a 9-1-1 call, we know that it was a valid call,” said Scott.
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Operators stayed on the line, and a deputy named Yvan Fernandez was dispatched, according to WINK News.
Fernandez claimed to be on the way to the call, but this proved to be a lie. According to the sheriff's investigation, it appears that Fernandez instead went to lunch.
“I need to confirm whether or not whether he was physically at the restaurant when the call came to him or whether he had not yet made it to the restaurant and was still en route,” said Scott.
Not until 30 minutes into the call was another deputy dispatched. But before any help arrived, family and friends had already found Minis' lifeless body lying on the ground.
“Immediately upon learning of this, I took his gun, his badge and his vehicle and put him on what we call administrative leave with pay,” said Scott.
A common response to the question of “Why do you pay taxes?” usually includes something about roads and police. The response is normally along the lines of, “well if we didn’t pay taxes, who would protect us and do the job of the police?”
Unfortunately, the idea that police protect you is a misconception as they will seldom prevent the loss of life.
In the case of Gwen Minis, an officer's appetite won out over his sworn duty to "protect and serve."
Had the call been about an illegal plant or suspicious amounts of cash, would Fernandez still have blown it off?