Talk about situations escalating quickly — a Wisconsin man had to be hospitalized after the police sent the bomb squad to his house following his call for medical help.
WARNING: Graphic image may be unsettling to some readers.
According to Raw Story, the authorities mistook 65-year-old Thomas Smith’s medical-related call to 911 for a hostage situation.
Smith suffers from Parkinson’s disease and cannot speak, so he had to respond to the dispatcher’s questions using buttons on the phone.
Unfortunately, the operator thought his button presses were an indication that he was being held hostage, which led to a bomb squad team, special responders, and countless officers rushing to Smith’s neighborhood.
Smith was detained until authorities realized he needed medical help, and then they administered treatment to him.
The major problem with this little mishap is that authorities manhandled Smith in the process of detaining him and left him with visible injuries.
“He point blank was trying to get help and it was taken way too far, and now my dad is in the hospital,” daughter Shannon Smith told local reporters.
“My dad does have cuts, scrapes on his head, a bump on his head, cut-up knees,” son Alan Smith said. “He did say he was forced down, he was slammed to the ground.”
Smith is lucky to be alive; the authorities’ failure to immediately provide the treatment he needed due to the misinterpretation could have meant life or death for the elderly man.
Needless to say, the family should be seeing some consolation or compensation from the local law enforcement for the error and the way that Smith was treated.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters