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Riders Say 911 Dispatcher Hung Up During Emergency Call On Staten Island Railway

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Riders thought it was a bullet, but the MTA said it was probably a rock that shattered a window on a train on Sunday night.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, it was quite a fright, followed by a bit of frustration for a family that tried to report it to 911 when a routine ride turned into transit trouble on the Staten Island Railway.

"It was four loud pops. One and then five seconds later, three in procession," Wayne Rosenfeld said.

The Rosenfelds were returning from an evening in Manhattan when all of a sudden the window of their train car was damaged by a projectile.

"I was scared because I didn't really know what was going on at first. It was craziness and scary," Sydnie Rosenfeld said.

The craziness continued when Lisa Rosenfeld called 911.

"The dispatcher did not understand what I was saying. She kept asking me, 'What's the train number?' And I said there is no train number of Staten Island, she just kept asking, 'I can't help you unless I have a train number,'" she said.

In Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, the Subway map is like a tangled spider's web, but on Staten Island, it's a single strand from St. George to Tottenville.

"Staten Island has one train. There are no numbers to that train," Rosenfeld said.

Rosenfeld said the 911 operator eventually hung up on her.

'A scary situation and thank God nobody got hurt, but if somebody did get hurt, it was really nerve-wracking that they wouldn't know how to get help to us," she said.

City Councilman Steve Matteo (R-50th) wants answers about what happened.

"It's a big city and there are a lot of locations for a 911 dispatcher to learn, but knowing that Staten Island only has one limited rail line, not a subway system is pretty basic," Matteo said.

 

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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