Cop Ignores 911 Call To Eat Lunch, Woman Dies

On March 13th, a woman in Lee County, Florida tried calling 911 because she was having a medical emergency. She was having difficulty talking, and was later found passed out in her driveway. Per policy, 911 issued an order to the nearest deputy on duty, Yvan Fernandez, to check on the call and to see if the person was in trouble.

Deputy Fernandez was not going to let an emergency call get between him and lunch, however. So he sat and enjoyed his meal at Raider’s Pizza and Wings on Palm Beach Boulevard. When another deputy came to join him for lunch half an hour later, that deputy was then asked by Fernandez to check on the call first.

When that deputy arrived, they found the woman passed out, with neighbors who described her as “being covered with ants.” Fernandez finally arrived over an hour after the call, his stomach full, but it was already too late.

As a result, the Lee County Sheriff’s office has now fired Deputy Fernandez for his conduct.

Sheriff Mike Scott had this to say after announcing the now-former Deputy’s termination:

He made a decision at that moment of time that his lunch and what he had on his personal plate, pun intended I suppose, was more important than that 911 call.

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.

In his own defense, Fernandez claimed to have attempted to call the woman several times, to no response. The restaurant would have understood, and likely put his lunch order on hold for him to take care of the call. That extra step of diligence is often times the line between life or death. Even if the call were nothing, it would have cost him nothing.

Now, he has to live with this on his permanent record. But does he feel guilt over what happened? Only he can answer that.

This lack of care for the community they are sworn to protect is systematic of the police nationwide. From Ferguson to Lee County, the failure to view themselves as part of the fabric of the community is rendering the law enforcement of this nation illegitimate. Perhaps it is time we looked, as a society, into eliminating the very idea of a law enforcement career entirely.

Our founding fathers had the right idea, by integrating law enforcement as a volunteer role, like the watchmen of old. When those who enforce our laws for the community do not view themselves as part of the community, the damage that happens to the fabric of society cannot be measured by statistics or facts, but by the way society behaves. In many places across our nation, we no longer view our police as protectors, but enforcers of their own will. This pattern is clear in this case.

Deputy Fernandez got off lighter than the woman whose cries for help he ignored. How many more Deputy Fernandez’s are out there, we wonder.

Cover Photo CC by dickunhe