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Crime News 911 Crisis Center

'He's Stepping On Me': ‘911 Crisis Center’ Dispatcher Help A Women Being Attacked

Chagrin Valley Dispatchers handle calls about domestic violence, an injured baby, and a Viagra mix-up. 

By Joe Dziemianowicz

At Chagrin Valley Dispatch, a communications center covering the greater Cleveland area, a 12-hour shift can mean 100 to 150 calls. Oxygen’s crackling new documentary series, “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c and 10/9c, captures the staff in action.

How to Watch

Catch up on 911 Crisis Center on Peacock or the Oxygen App.

Shortly after 9 one night, a woman called the police and fire dispatch to report that her ex hit her in the back of the head with a hammer. “Get off of me,” the caller said to the man as she tried to gather her possessions.

The assault continued as a dispatcher asked the caller if she could put distance between herself and the man. “Are you able to walk away from him and you can get your stuff when the police arrive?” trainee Jessica Merkowsky asked.

Sounds of a struggle could be heard, and dispatchers learned that the man was restraining the caller and still had the hammer on him. “He’s stepping on me,” the frantic caller said.

Merkowsky instructed the woman to get out of the house. She then confirmed police had arrived and were with the caller and told the woman that a medical unit had been dispatched to check her injuries. 

The alleged assailant was detained. The caller was taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

“Your mind races with all the negative things that could possibly happen,” said a dispatcher. “You’ve just got to be ready for whatever,” another colleague added.

Chagrin Valley Dispatchers also handled calls from parents whose 11-month-old child suffered severe, life-threatening dog bites to her face. 

The dog-bite call left dispatcher Charline Polk feeling “helpless,” she told producers. “I felt like I couldn’t do my job like I was supposed to, even though there wasn’t much I could possibly do."

Another call to the police and fire dispatch included one concerning a man threatening to shoot up a drug store because of an issue related to a Viagra prescription.

To learn more about these calls, watch “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c and 10/9c on Oxygen or stream episodes here.

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