A teenager who called police but was told by a dispatcher to
“deal with it yourself” before being hung up on said she was panicked
about a friend being shot but stayed as calm as possible.
Esperanza Quintero told The Associated Press that she wished dispatcher
Matthew Sanchez had done more to help after her friend Jaydon
Chavez-Silver was shot in June. He later died.
In the recording, Quintero snaps at Sanchez for repeatedly asking whether Chavez-Silver is breathing.
don’t understand how much more I could have stayed calm,” Quintero
said. “It was upsetting at the time but I didn’t have a choice. What
more could I have done?”
Quintero told KOAT-TV in Albuquerque that she tried to stop the 17-year-old Chavez-Silver from bleeding and gave him CPR.
“I am keeping him alive!” Quintero is heard saying on the emergency call.
Sanchez asks, “Is he not breathing?”
The caller responds, “Barely!”
The caller is then heard frantically encouraging Chavez-Silver to keep breathing.
more breath! One more breath!” Quintero tells him. “There you go
Jaydon. One more breath! There you go Jaydon. Good job! Just stay with
me, OK? OK?”
Sanchez then asks again, “Is he breathing?”
Quintero responded, “He is barely breathing, how many times do I have to (expletive) tell you?”
“OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?” the dispatcher says.
It seemed from the tape that Sanchez hung up on the caller in mid-sentence.
“No, my friend is dying,” she said as the call ended.
Sanchez resigned a day after the recording of the call was released.
Department spokeswoman Melissa Romero said Sanchez had dispatched an
ambulance to the scene before he hung up and that it arrived less than
five minutes after it was sent.
Sanchez was employed by the
department for 10 years and was a firefighter before being assigned to a
dispatcher job. It was unclear why the change was made or if he had any
previous disciplinary actions against him.
Chavez-Silver’s mother Nicole Chavez said the family is heartbroken after hearing the recording.
was like a nightmare coming back all over again and hearing our son
fight for his life in the background,” Chavez said. “I am deeply upset
with the dispatcher, his behavior and response on the call was
The family said Chavez-Silver, a recent high school graduate, had enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.
No arrests have been made in the killing.