Preschool prowler leaves doubts about APD response time
Some residents of a neighborhood near Lake Hood are questioning the response time of Anchorage police, after a prowler ran into an area preschool Thursday afternoon.
Jessica Graham was at her home with her two small children when she says a man ran across her roof, fell into her neighbor’s greenhouse, and then ran inside a nearby daycare and preschool run by Faith Christian Community.
She went live on Facebook to share what she saw.
“(He) tried to go in through the window, then went through the door, and then he ran outside, went and climbed up this person's fence; now he's in this tree,” Graham said.
Graham says she called police at 2:47 p.m. but was told no officers were available to respond.
“It took 1 hour and 26 minutes for them to arrive. I have great appreciation for our police officers, but what good are they when there are none available when needed?” Graham wrote on Facebook. “This is completely unacceptable. Something needs to be done about this because it could have ended a lot worse.”
The daycare’s director, Mona Hundrup, says they contacted police as well and put the daycare on lock down.
Callie Strobel, who has two children who attend the preschool, says she went to pick them up early when she heard what had happened at that police hadn’t responded.
“I think, just with a lot of the growing concern in the community of the crime rate, I would like just to see some substantial changes and a plan for how to make sure if there's a situation in which someone needs help immediately, that they (police) are going to be there immediately,” Strobel said.
Surveillance video from another neighbor's backyard shows the individual calling for help and acting strange. Neighbors say medics responded and took the man from the scene in an ambulance.
APD spokesperson Kendra Doshier said in a statement that officers received a report at about 2:48 p.m. Thursday of an "intoxicated individual" at the preschool.
"Based on the information provided dispatch loaded the call as a trespassing (incident)," Doshier wrote. "Officers were dispatched at 4:15 p.m. and arrived on scene at 4:21 p.m."
Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, Doshier said the man, 32-year-old Richard Bender, was treated for injuries from falling.
"Police have obtained a warrant for the charge of criminal mischief, and that warrant will be served to Bender once he is medically cleared," Doshier wrote.
According to Doshier, police dispatchers triage incoming calls and issue each one a priority status, which is constantly evaluated and can be changed as new information is received. Officers have also spoken with Faith Christian Community's pastor.
"The safety of the community is our top concern and we are continually reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure we maintain public safety," Doshier wrote.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.