Apr 27, 2010

Four students who were abducted Sunday night gave a press conference on the Morehouse campus on Monday, April 26. They did not want their faces shown.

Audio provided Monday night by the Atlanta Police department showed that the students kidnapped Sunday night from Morehouse were not put on hold when they called 911.

Two of the students, who were placed in the trunk of a car during the carjacking used a cell phone to call for help, and said they eventually had to call Morehouse Police when they couldn't get through Atlanta's 911 emergency call center.

But recordings of two of the four 911 calls made -- the students hung up before two other calls were answered -- reflect conversation that was either indecipherable or gave no information that could lead police to them.

"Tell them give them money," one student is heard saying in the first call, placed just after 5:16 p.m., as the operator repeats … "Hellooo."

Atlanta Police spokesman Sgt. Curtis Davenport, in an e-mail, said the first call was answered in four seconds.

"The 911 operator could hear the victim talking in the background, but could not ascertain vital information needed to complete the call," Davenport said.

The connection was lost, and the operator calls back, with no answer.

The students made two subsequent calls after 5:17 and after 5:18 p.m., both of which police said the caller hung up on before the call was answer, but after more than 30 seconds.

At a news conference at Morehouse on Monday morning, the captives said they eventually called the Morehouse College police department, where a dispatcher alerted officers to their whereabouts.

Atlanta Police received that call from Morehouse at 5:21:24 p.m., and officers were on the scene four minutes later, Davenport said.

Two suspects, a 17-year-old and a juvenile, were arrested when police arrived at a West End bank where the suspects went to use the victims' ATM cards.

As police were arresting the alleged kidnappers at 5:27:45 p.m., a fourth call came from the students.

"They got my wallet … they got my iPhone and everything," the students were heard saying in the final call, although it was unclear before they hung up who the students were talking to during the 33-second transmission..

Davenport said the operator called the students back at 5:28 p.m.

Morehouse College police Chief Vernon Worthy said the victims, three of them Morehouse students and the fourth a student at American InterContinental University, were in the "Collegetown" complex a block west of the Morehouse campus when they were carjacked at gunpoint.

The gunmen forced two of the students into the trunk of the Buick LaCrosse, while the other two victims remained in the back seat of the vehicle.

"These students were taken to the West End area," Worthy said. "The intent was to take them somewhere west of this area to an ATM to gain money from their bank accounts. The kids had presence of mind to ask the robbers, or tell the robbers, they wanted to stay in the West End area to access banks there."

Worthy said that after being kidnapped, one of the students in the trunk "got on his phone and dialed 911. He was unable to get anyone, he was put on hold at 911, so he switched over and called the Morehouse College police number."

From the APD recording, the students didn't seem to hear the 911 operator talking to them during the roughly 30-second call.



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