TOKYO (TR) – A police dispatcher who fielded idol star Mayu Tomita’s emergency call asking for help when she was being attacked initially sent officers to her home instead of the crime scene, NHK learned on Wednesday (May 25).
When Tomita, 20, called police to report she was being attacked by knife-wielding suspect Tomohiro Iwazaki, 27, at a concert venue in Koganei City, on Saturday, a police dispatcher failed to check the location of her cell phone and instead sent officers to her home.
Officers at a police station near the crime scene were dispatched after witnesses made emergency calls, taking about seven minutes to arrive from the time Tomita called for help. The star remains unconscious in critical condition at a hospital.
Police believe Tomita made the emergency call between when suspect Iwazaki called out to her and stabbed her some 30 times.
Screaming for help
Local media reported that Tomita was heard screaming for help when she called at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Witnesses reported the attack about a minute later at 5:06 p.m., saying that a “man is stabbing a woman in the neck using a knife,” Nikkan Sports reported.
According to police, protocols are in place to confirm the origins of cell phone calls so crime scenes can be located.
“A mistake was made, proper protocol was not followed in confirming the location of crime scenes,” authorities said. “Moving forward, hopefully we can set up a system that automatically pinpoints locations.”
Over 300 tweets
According to NHK, Iwazaki is believed to have tweeted over 300 times about Tomita over a four-month period starting from January. Police believe the suspect’s tweeted content gradually escalated.