- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2001

Anne Arundel County, Md. police are investigating why 911 dispatchers never told officers about a call from a witness to the fatal carjacking of a Glen Burnie pharmacist.
Two call center employees have been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation.
"When you have a life-and-death situation, you can't afford to make mistakes, " said Lt. Joseph Jordan.
The body of Yvette Beakes was found Sunday in the 300 block of North Athol Avenue in southwest Baltimore.
Anne Arundel police said they discovered a 911 call related to the killing when the Baltimore city police department, which has taken over the murder investigation, asked for a log of emergency calls.
Four men followed Miss Beakes by car last Wednesday after she left Pickles Pub near Camden Yards in Baltimore about 11 p.m., said city police spokeswoman Ragina Averella.
Less than an hour later, they staged an accident near Miss Beakes' apartment complex off East Ordinance Road in Glen Burnie to lure her from her car, police reported. After kidnapping Miss Beakes, the attackers used her ATM card before bringing her to the woods and shooting her in the head, according to police.
"At 11:58 p.m. on [the night of the incident], we received a 911 call from a pay phone at a strip mall on the corner of Ritchie Highway and Ordinance Road, " Lt. Jordan said.
"The caller hung up on the first call taker, " Lt. Jordan said. Standard procedure in that situation, he said, is to immediately dispatch an officer, then call the number back.
The call taker did both of those things, he said, but she got a busy signal because whoever was calling had hung up and called 911 in again.
Meanwhile, Lt. Jordan said, officers were already on their way to the pay phone.
During the second call, a witness described an accident involving a young woman and several young men, followed by an assault, police said.
"The second call taker took a vehicle description, " Lt. Jordan said. "But instead of generating a separate incident, all she did was type the notes into a computer and send them to the dispatcher."
Somehow the notes never got to the officers who had already been sent to the strip mall pay phone, Lt. Jordan said.
The officers checked the buildings and stores but found nothing, so they left the scene, Lt. Jordan said. "Had they got the description taken during the second call, they would have done a larger, much more extensive search, " he said.
"This was a human error, not a problem with the technology or the equipment, " Lt. Jordan said.
The second call taker and the dispatcher have been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation. One of the two has worked at the center for 24 years, while the other is an eight-year employee, Lt. Jordan said.
Baltimore police arrested fours suspects in the case Sunday. Brian Wilson, 15; Brian McMillan, 18; Larry Walker, 16; and Jamal D. Barnes, 23, all of Baltimore, were charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bail.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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