911 call mishap may have let greenway attackers run free

911 call mishap may have let greenway attackers run free

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An elderly woman managed to fight off a group of teenagers she said attacked and robbed her on a Nashville greenway, but the attackers managed to get away.

Now, there's an investigation into how the 911 call for help was handled.

The attack happened Sept. 8 on a busy stretch of the Stones River Greenway, directly next to a Kohl's shopping center.

"She passed a group of four individuals. As she continued down, she was struck from behind by two teenage girls," said Metro police Capt. Chris Taylor, who oversees park police.

The woman, a 76-year-old woman, who had been walking alone, told police a group of four Hispanic teenagers - two male, two female - sat at a set of picnic tables before they moved in and struck her several times.

But, during the attack, police say the victim made a courageous decision. As the crooks grabbed for her purse and car keys, police say the victim picked up a stick and screamed at them to back off.

"It's a victim's choice how they respond, but in this case, she fought back, and it was enough to stop the crime from continuing," Taylor said.

But the attackers are still free, and Metro officials are investigating whether a mistake at the Emergency Communications Center is partly to blame.

"The worst case scenario is that the suspect drives away while the police are pulling up and we don't realize it," Taylor said.

The assistant director at Metro ECC confirmed the agency is investigating the call between the 911 dispatcher and a witness who dialed in to help the woman after the responding police officer made a complaint that the call didn't go out correctly, possibly hampering the police response.

"What worries me is there's a lot of young women alone and mothers with children, and if you have kids, you can't fight someone off," said greenway patron Tiffany Fulkerson.

The assistant director at the Metro ECC said the investigation into that 911 call will take about two weeks.

In the meantime, signs have been posted at the greenway warning other walkers and cyclists of the attack.

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