HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) – Three 911 calls have been released detailing terrifying moments for a Hudson mom who held an alleged intruder at gunpoint while waiting for deputies to respond. This as the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office fired back at an 8 On Your Side investigation stating their official response time was 6 minutes, not 26 minutes.
That depends on when you start the clock.
8 On Your side is laying out the PCSO argument and the facts to let you decide whether there was a dangerous delay in this case.
According to the PCSO, the suspect showed up at a home in Rolling Oaks Estates in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 25. An arrest report identifies the man as 25-year-old Devin Cooke. Body camera video reveals deputies believed Cooke was experiencing a mental health crisis and had previously been ordered to have a mental health evaluation.
Lauren Richards, a mother of four, says she was home alone with her kids when Cooke showed up. She tells us she experienced 26 minutes of terror while waiting for deputies to arrive at the scene. She and her neighbors contacted 8 On Your Side due to their concerns about response time.
The sheriff’s office responded to our reports in a Facebook post on Wednesday saying, “the response time, once the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the emergency 911 call, was 6 minutes instead of the 26 minutes that has been widely reported.”
The timeline of the three 911 calls is not in dispute.
In their Facebook statement, the PCSO says the first 911 call reporting a suspicious person was at 12:41 a.m. on Saturday.
“I was just sitting in my living room watching TV. It’s late, my kids are asleep. A young male just came and knocked on my door and I reluctantly answered it,” she said in the call. “He knocks on the door, asks if I called for him.”
The initial interaction was brief.
The mother explained to dispatchers that Cooke had to get through a gate to get to her door and described the man as confused and distraught.
“He came up to my front door and had to unlock my gate to open up my gate to get into where my front door is,” she said.
The dispatcher then asks if she or anyone else is in danger “right now.” Richards responds first saying no, then clarifies that she doesn’t know.
She also states that she has no idea where the man is currently located.
Richards hangs up with the dispatcher after getting confirmation a deputy is heading to her house.
According to the PCSO, the second 911 call from Richards came in at 12:54 a.m. This time Richards said Cooke had broken into her garage and closed the door.
“I just called you guys and the man that showed up at my front door was just inside my garage,” Richards tells the new dispatcher in her second call.
While Richards is on the phone with 911, she can also be heard talking to Cooke.
“I have a gun, stay where you’re at,” she told him.
She then tells the dispatcher, “I have a gun pointed and I need the police to show up immediately. I called 10 minutes ago and nobody has shown up.”
In fact, records state Richards had called 13 minutes ago.
Richards tells the dispatcher her neighbor showed up to help her and also has a gun.
This was a tense situation as two people were now holding the alleged intruder at gunpoint.
According to the sheriff’s office, a sergeant arrived at Richards’ home first, at 1:07 a.m., and immediately took Cooke into custody.
The first Pasco deputy arrived at 1:07 a.m. exactly 26 minutes after Richards first call for help at 12:41 a.m.
“At this time, it appears the response time of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office from the dispatch of the emergency situation to arrival was approximately six minutes to this rural location,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
So how does Pasco arrive at their official response time of just six minutes?
On Facebook, they explain stating they are not starting the clock when Richards made the first 911 call. They are not starting the clock when she made the second 911 call.
Instead, the PCSO starts the clock when the second call went from dispatch to a sergeant.
While that may be how the PCSO classifies their response time, it doesn’t change the fact that Richards had to wait 26 minutes for deputies to arrive.
During that time, her four young children were home alone.
Meantime, 8 On Your Side obtained the report about this incident from the Pasco County Department of Emergency Services.
According to their official records, they identify the reaction time to this incident as 25 minutes and 56 seconds, not six minutes.
8 On Your Side has requested a sit-down interview with Sheriff Chris Nocco.
Our request was declined.