E-911 Helps Police Interrupt Crime
By: Carly O'Keefe
Mt. Vernon, IL - Although the victims call to 911 didn't say where to go or what was wrong, dispatchers were able to send help.
A call came in to the Mt. Vernon Police Department Dispatch at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday from the 2800 block of Logan Street. Police say the only audible sound was screaming in the background. Dispatchers alerted Mt. Vernon and Illinois State Patrol officers.
"The fact that this victim was able to make a 911 call to the police enabled them to be there as the crime was occurring and while the defendant was still at the scene," said Jefferson County State's Attorney Gary Duncan.
When officers arrived on scene, police say screaming was coming from inside the residence. Officers forcibly entered the home and discovered a woman inside being sexually and physically assaulted.
Police arrested 32-year-old Randy Brown of Mt. Vernon on charges of aggravated sexual assault, home invasion, aggravated battery, residential burglary and unlawful restraint.
Duncan says in cases of sexual assault it's rare to apprehend suspects at the scene of the assault. He credits the victim's 911 call for keeping a bad situation from getting worse.
"I think it's fortunate that she was able to make that call because one doesn't know how bad things could have gotten had the police not been there to intervene when the crime was occurring," Duncan said.
Jefferson County's enhanced 911 system came on-line about four years ago. Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch has been in law enforcement for 29 years. He says he remembers the days when dialing 911 didn't always mean an automatic response.
"In the old days a call would come in and the dispatcher would take down the pertinent information and they had no way of tracing the call. If it was disconnected, we were pretty much at odds," Mulch said.
Now when a call comes in, dispatchers know where to send help.
"It'll give an address and the map will pin-point the location," Mulch said.
The 911 system also records every call. Duncan says the recording of the victim's call Tuesday night will help in court prosecuting Randy Brown.
"Even though she was unable to tell the dispatcher exactly what happened, the 911 system did capture some of the things that were going on. And that's evidence too," Duncan said.
The victim sustained injuries due to the alleged assault and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon for treatment.
Brown remains incarcerated in the Jefferson County Jail on $250,000 bond.