A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been fired after an investigation showed that he ignored a 911 call from a woman having a heart attack so that he could finish his pizza lunch, according to WZVN.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott fired Yvan Fernandez following an Internal Affairs report that showed that the deputy acknowledged the emergency call from dispatch before returning to his pizza, even though he was not on an official meal break at the time.
According to friends of the victim, Gwendolyn Minnis, 48, she had recently been released from the hospital after having a heart attack.
Police believe she called 911 to report another heart attack on March 13, with dispatch sending out a call for an officer to respond after the line went dead.
The report states that Fernandez was having lunch with three other deputies at Raider’s Pizza and Wings when he first took the call, responding to a second call from dispatch 8 minutes later, telling the dispatcher “copy.”
Fernandez then reportedly went back to eating his lunch before passing off the call to another deputy 30 minutes later.
Deputies arrived at the home where Minnis was staying, 53 minutes after the initial call, to find the woman lying in her walkway unconscious with the phone next to her. She later died.
The report also noted that Hernandez was not on an official meal break at the time of the call. Had he been on a break, another officer would have been a.ssigned to the call by dispatch.
Speaking with reporters, Sheriff Scott placed the blame solely on Hernandez, saying, “Could we have saved this lady? I’ll never be able to answer that question. Would getting there quicker have hurt anything? Of course not.”