ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A Central Florida man says he is frustrated it took nearly four hours to file a police report after his car was shot at on Interstate 4, which he claims allowed the perpetrator to get away.
The man, who is simply going by Henry to protect his family, said this happened last week.
He said he and a friend had just merged onto I-4 westbound from Maitland Boulevard, and he started merging into the Express Lane when another car flashed its lights at him.
He said he then heard something hit his car.
“There’s this large sound, a lot like a rock hitting the car, but louder than normal and louder than a rock,” he said. “I said, ‘What was that?’ and Fred says, ‘We’ve been shot,’ and I said, ‘You OK?” And he said, ‘Yeah, just covered in glass.’”
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Henry said he chose not to pull over out of fear.
“He’s armed, and I don’t know what he’s doing, and he obviously is experiencing road rage,” he said. “I have no desire to engage in road rage with him.”
Henry said he called 911 for assistance at approximately 5:45 p.m., and when the dispatcher answered he was nearly in downtown Orlando.
He said the dispatcher told him it was Maitland police’s jurisdiction, so he turned around and drove to the Maitland Police Department.
He said it took about 40 minutes for the investigators there to determine the shooting actually happened in Orange County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.
It took about 90 more minutes, he said, for deputies to respond, and they completed their report at around 9:15 p.m. That’s three-and-a-half hours after he was shot at.
“By the time they got it all reported, he was long gone,” Henry said. “While I was sitting there, I decided that I needed to make you guys aware of this because this is a huge problem.”
“Orange County — you could travel on I-4 and pass through several cities, or I call them municipalities, and most people don’t even realize it,” said Trooper Steve Montiero, News 6′s Traffic Safety Expert. “They just call 911, and they think someone in the county or the troopers are going to show up.”
News 6 contacted law enforcement to ask if there are any plans to consolidate or streamline their responses along I-4 and got no answers.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office said when emergency calls are made, they are answered by many Public Safety Answering Points in different locations in the county. Where the call is received is usually the agency that would be responding.
According to the sheriff’s information, Henry’s call could have been answered in Apopka.
“The criminals are being well-served by the fact that the police can’t respond in a timely manner because the jurisdiction is so broken up, and the response has to stay within jurisdiction,” Henry said.