Tuesday, December 29, 2009

North Port Police Chief Terry Lewis

I commend Chief Lewis for having the strength, courage and wisdom to do the right thing.

And thank you, THANK YOU, Chief Lewis, for not hiding behind this with arrogant airs. Thank you for not sweeping this under the rug.

And especially thank you for showing compassion for the family.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the Wood family. It's tragic enough to lose someone but to add this on top of it is....... There's no word for it.

Again, I commend you.

God bless you.

From the Charlotte Sun website

NORTH PORT — North Port Police Chief Terry Lewis has fired the dispatcher who failed to send officers to a crash scene where a man was found dead almost 19 hours later.

Lewis said Nadezhda Kashitskaya, who had been with the NPPD for about a year and a half, violated two city policies.

In a press conference Tuesday at the police department, Lewis apologized to the family of Brian Wood, 55, and said his heart goes out to Kashitskaya, whom he said "made a mistake."

About 11:30 p.m. Dec. 11, teens saw a man slumped over on the ground next to his truck in a dark, remote area of North Port Estates. Mark Mininci Jr., 19, called 911 from a convenience store about six miles away.

When Mininci called 911, he didn't know the exact street name — Lovering Avenue — of where the man and his pickup were located, calling it "Lovesong" or "Lovebird." However, he gave detailed directions on how to get to the area.

Around 6:30 p.m. the next day, a curious Mininci returned to the area and saw the man was still there. Mininci went to a nearby house and asked the residents to call police.

Officers arrived and found Wood, the longtime owner of Suncoast V-Twin motorcycle repair in North Port, dead. On the way to visiting his friend and business partner, Ricky "Railroad" Johnson, Wood had apparently crashed his pickup into a power pole. He managed to get out of the truck after the crash but could not get help before succumbing to his injuries.

In the 911 call, Kashitskaya explained to Mininci the system doesn't work without giving a specific street name.

But Lewis said earlier this month that other techniques could have been used to assist the caller.

"We use maps similar to Google Earth to find streets and locations," he said. "We should have gone to the area where the caller described, despite not having a proper street name."

The Sarasota County Medical Examiner has not yet completed Wood's autopsy report.

link: http://sunnewspapers.net/articles/llnews.aspx?articleID=15232&bnpg=0