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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A frantic 911 call last week during the fatal stabbing of a Wilmington man may have cost a New Hanover County dispatcher her job.

After a review of how the she handled the call, the county decided to fire the operator.

The call came into New Hanover County Dispatch May 2 around 6:45 p.m. The female caller said a man had a knife and he wanted to kill himself.

Caller: “It’s still happening. He is trying to kill himself. I need an ambulance now.”
911: “Miss Roberts, yelling at me is not helping. I am asking, someone else is sending the units. Answer my questions. How is he trying to harm himself?”

The female caller begged for help.

911: “I am getting help. Ma’am, listen. Miss Roberts, stop. Somebody yelled help. We are already dispatching help to you. My asking questions is not delaying that. It is helping them.”

Dispatcher Letha Anderson handled the phone call. She raised her voice and cut the caller off multiple times.

911: “Where is he at with the knife?”
Caller: “I don’t know. He left the house.”
911: “OK. You do know! He left the house! Did he leave on foot or did he leave in a car?”
Caller: “He left on foot, but I don’t know where he is.”
911: “OK, what does he look like?”

The incident ended with Roberts charged with murder after allegedly stabbing his father Christopher, 52.

Soon after, the county said it would review how the call was handled.

Friday county spokesman Charles Smith confirmed Anderson has since been fired. Smith said he could not provide the exact reason for Anderson’s termination.

We could not find a listing to reach Anderson for comment.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest12234

    After listening to the phone call several times, it is clear as day that the dispatcher acted out of line. The female caller was calm, clear and in control of herself. She spoke more professionally than the dispatcher, who immediately accused the female of being out of control. The female got anxious and upset after the dispatchers continuous attitude was too much to handle in an already stressful situation. She was very unprofessional and not helpful at all, which is what a 911 dispatcher is supposed to do- help. Send help. It’s sad she lost her job, but this isn’t what she needs to be doing as a profession.

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