911 Operator Fired After Response to Emergency Call

PhotoAlto/James Hardy/Getty Images(WATERBURY, Conn.) -- A 911 operator has been fired from the Waterbury Police Department for what the department called unacceptable behavior during an August emergency call about an alleged robbery shooting.

On Aug. 23, police said Rolando Alvarez, a delivery man for a Chinese food restaurant, called 911 to report that he and coworker Helena Vargas, 59, had been attacked by several men and women, according to ABC News affiliate WTNH-TV. At the time, police said, he and Vargas were making a delivery to 70 Linden St. in Waterbury, Connecticut, around 9:30 p.m.

Police said that when the two arrived, they were approached by two males and two females. During the alleged robbery, police said, Vargas was shot. Police said 911 operator Nicole Scarino, a seven-year veteran, had taken Alvarez's call.

In the 911 call, Scarino asks the caller's address and appears to have difficulty understanding Alvarez.

"Waterbury 911. What's the address?" Scarino says.

"Yea, uh 70 Linden Street," Alvarez says.

"770 Linden Street?" she asks.

"No, no, no. 70," Alvarez responds.

"7-0? ... 70 is 7-0. That's what 70 is, 7 and a 0. Linden Street?" Scarino says.

During the more than four-minute call, Scarino sounds as if she is growing agitated, sighing loudly and increasingly raising her voice.

Initially, Waterbury police put her on leave, pending a formal review into the 911 call.

Thursday, the department confirmed that she had been fired. Scarino was unable to be reached for comment.

Police told ABC News Thursday that its investigation found Scarino had committed a number of different violations from their policy for civilian personnel employed by the department, including violations within the duties of a 911 operator.

Vargas was pronounced dead at a hospital at 10 p.m. Police said Thursday that Scarino's behavior during the call had no bearing on Vargas' death. They said there was no delay in getting emergency personnel to the scene of the shooting.

Police said four individuals, including three juveniles, had been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged robbery and shooting. The juveniles' cases would be transferred to adult court, police said Thursday.

All four face charges ranging from felony murder and robbery to criminal use of a firearm. They have been arraigned and are currently in detention.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick Gregory

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick GregoryBrent N. Clarke/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death of comedian and activist Dick Gregory at age 84 on Saturday prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter from celebrities, activists and others.

Jane Sanders recalled how her husband -- Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate -- once spent a night in jail with Gregory after protesting segregation in Chicago.

RIP Dick Gregory, a good & brave man. He & @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting Chicago segregated schools in the 60s https://t.co/pYpMU34eOx

— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) August 20, 2017

Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself with Gregory. "Thank you for giving yourself to all of us," he wrote.

Dick Gregory, may God Bless you and Keep you. Thank you for giving yourself to all of us. pic.twitter.com/Z1dLIvYuBn

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) August 20, 2017

Activist and writer Shaun King posted pictures of Gregory as a young man. "Rest in power, good sir," King wrote.

Because many of you probably only knew Dick Gregory as an older man, I wanted to show you these young images.

Rest in power good sir. pic.twitter.com/ZayInokcaJ

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 20, 2017

Singer John Legend called Gregory a "groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice."

Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP

— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017

Some people posted excerpts from Gregory's memoir, "Callous on My Soul," such as when he wrote about a waitress in the South telling him that they "don't serve colored people."

White lady: We don't serve colored people here.

Dick Gregory: I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.

RIP Mr. Gregory😰 pic.twitter.com/t8dnuRJhBC

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 20, 2017

Here is a sample of some other tweets paying tribute to Gregory and lamenting his passing.

Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017

Marching w/ King. Sitting w/ Ali. Paving the way for our comedic greats. All while fighting for us.

Rest well Dick Gregory. #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/GsfRTjHSuy

— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 20, 2017

He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3CfpM2O17D

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017

Rest In Peace to civil rights icon Dick Gregory. An inspiration. A hero. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kIzeYMNjor

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 20, 2017


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