Man says he got no help from police when he called 911

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - A Boise man says he got no help from police when he tried to report a crime.

James DeMello said he was driving on 84 near the Garrity exit when a rock the size of a baseball was thrown at his windshield, so he called 911.

DeMello says dispatchers sent his call to Idaho State Police, who told him his call would be transferred to the Nampa Police Department. But after putting him on hold, the state police operator got back on the line and told him to just go home and fill out a report online.

The online crime report form can be found on Nampa Police Department's website. You fill in information about everything that happened, essentially in the same way an officer would write up a report.

But Sergeant Tim Randall with the Nampa Police Department said the online system is used for "cold cases." These usually include petty thefts or vandalism, when the crime isn't in progress.

But that wasn't the case for DeMello.

"As I'm on the phone with them, the assailants are driving away. I'm giving them a description of what's going on, and they just don't have time," he said.

Randall said the issue was that the 911 call was first picked up by the county, then sent to state police, then went back to Nampa. He said the information didn't get relayed correctly, and Nampa police didn't realize the crime was in progress.

After the Truth Squad talked with Sergeant Randall, he called DeMello and admitted police should have come to the scene.

"The online reporting's fairly new right now, and, so, we're still working a lot of the bugs out of the system as far as...situations just like this," Randall said.

Police say people who don't have a computer have a couple of options. They can call and have a report mailed to their home, or pick up a report at the station. Randall says if neither of these options work, an officer will be sent to help.