A state trooper was suspended for 15 days without pay after he was recorded on a 911 tape saying “too bad” to a caller seeking help for a man injured in a motorcycle accident.
State police said the dismissive answer by Trooper Robert Peasley did not affect the response time to the accident involving Justin Sawyer, 21, who died of a severe head injury a week after the crash last August. Peasley was suspended on Monday.
Russell Shepard, a friend of Sawyer’s, called 911, which was routed to the state police barracks in Montville. When he reported the accident, Peasley said, “Yeah ... too bad,” and hung up, according to a tape obtained by WTNH-TV.
Shepard said he was shocked, believing he reached a wrong number.
Another friend made a second call. “Yeah,” the officer responded. “Help will get there. Shouldn’t be playing games.”
A third emergency call was answered by a different dispatcher, who asked about Sawyer’s condition and advised those nearby to not touch him.
“I am absolutely outraged every time I hear that ‘too bad’ and then click,” said Sawyer’s father, Jim Sawyer. “I only know that I would have felt a whole lot more comfortable if I had heard people responding on the end of that 911 call with some heart and caring.”
State police said the comments by Peasley, an 18-year-veteran, were unprofessional, and the agency apologized if “our actions added to the family’s pain.”