Local News

911 Call, Timeline Raising Questions In Rape Investigation

Posted March 31, 2006
Updated January 7, 2007

— The investigation into a possible rape involving members of Duke's lacrosse team took several turns Friday with questions about a 911 call and reports of harassing phone calls made to the team's coach.

Questions came from defense attorneys about the timing of a 911 call made from a woman who claimed she was near a house when a group of men yelled racial slurs at her and a friend on the same night a woman said she was raped at a house in Durham.

Also, Durham police said that lacrosse coach Mike Pressler is receiving harassing phone calls that target him, not his family. The calls are not characterized as threats, police said.

Police say the 911 call in question was made nearly one hour after exotic dancers entered the home to perform for a group of lacrosse players. When police arrived at the scene two minutes later, the house was empty. About 25 minutes later, the alleged victim ended up at a Kroger store down the street.

The timeline in the case is also raising questions.

On March 13, police say two dancers showed up at 610 North Buchanan Blvd. just before midnight. An hour later, at 12:53 a.m., police got a call from a woman who says she was passing by the house.

"Hi, I don't know if this is emergency or not necessarily, but I'm in Durham driving down near Duke's campus," the caller said.

Seconds into the call, the woman said she wasn't driving.

"It's right in front of 610 Buchanan St. and I saw them all come out like a big frat house and me and my black girlfriend were walking by and they called us n--------," the caller said.

Two minutes after the 911 call, police arrived to find an empty house.

Neighbor Jason Bissey told WRAL in a recent interview he saw the two dancers leave the house and speed off in their car.

"About 3 minutes after they drove off, the party totally dispersed and the first unit from Durham police responded," Bissey said.

Somewhere between midnight and 12:55 a.m., when officers arrived, the victim told police she'd been raped and beaten for 30 minutes inside the house.

About 25 minutes after that call at 1:22 in the morning, there was another call.

"The problem is there's a lady in someone else's car and she won't get out," the caller said.

A security guard at a grocery store says a woman named Kim pulled up and was worried about her friend.

Police arrived and stayed at the scene for six hours.

Police say the woman identified on the 911 call as Kim who drove the alleged victim to that Kroger was the second dancer at the house that night.

As for the first call to 911, police don't know who made that call.

A defense attorney for one of the players finds the call suspicious -- a strange coincidence -- and wonders who made it.

But, Durham police don't know who made the call because nobody asked.

"That's something that should've been done," said Jim Soukup, 911 director.

There are standard questions dispatchers are expected to ask every caller: phone number, name, location and emergency.

"Normally, we do ask for that, but in that type of situation we felt like we had the location and we had to get there right away -- we tried to respond as quickly as possible," Soukup said.


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