VIDEO: Virginia man dies after 911 call dismissed as butt dial


FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia (KRON) — A 911 dispatch center in Virginia is under investigation after a man died when no one responded to his call.

Michael Paulus said his father was diagnosed with heart disease, and the family knew he did not have much time.

But his death was especially devastating when they learned what happened just hours before he passed.

It turns out when Paulus’ dad called 911, the dispatcher heard no sound and ended up labeling it as a “pocket dial” where no call back is required.

Hours later he was found dead.

“I’m glad I know the truth now,” Paulus said. “But it makes me very angry that there’s nothing in place to help him. I want things to change. I think policies need to be changed.”

“If you’re in some kind of a medical situation where you can’t respond, that’s not a butt dial, that’s a cry for help,” he added.

Police said the investigation could lead to change.

“I think this was an oversight,” Fredericksburg Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Kirkpatrick said. “I think the police department is taking it very seriously by opening an internal investigation.”

911 protocol is not centralized, and every call center is different.

Had Paulus dialed 911 in another county, for example, the dispatcher would have called back.

CNN Newsource contributed to this report.

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