Torture Accusations Leveled After Call Led To Treatment

Date: 2005-02-08


The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA — The Citrus County Sheriff's Office released a tape of a 911 call Monday that authorities said was related to the child torture case of John and Linda Dollar.

In the Jan. 21 call, an unidentified woman mulls options for treating a 16-year-old boy with a head injury she describes as gushing blood, soaking up "towel after towel."

The woman explains to the dispatcher that she isn't sure how the injury happened, but that the boy might have tripped on a shoelace and hit his head on a trailer outside and then later hit his head on a fireplace in another fall.

Detectives suspect that a boy in the Dollars' care received an injury above his ear after John Dollar picked him up by the neck and dropped him on the fireplace, sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney said.

Tierney said the 3:21 a.m. call was related to the Dollar case, although she could not publicly confirm it came from the Dollars' Beverly Hills home.

The Dollars are accused of abusing five children in their care, including a 16-year-old boy who was taken to a hospital bleeding and malnourished on Jan. 21.

Tierney said detectives suspect the injury occurred about 7:30 the previous night and that the Dollars might not have sought help if they had been able to stop the bleeding themselves.

The female caller seems reluctant to decide how to get the boy medical care, debating for nearly five minutes whether to drive him to a hospital or wait for paramedics.

At one point, she asks the dispatcher, "Well, will they [paramedics] do any more for us?"

The dispatcher responds, "They'll be able to stop the bleeding and get him to a hospital." The woman then asks a man at the house, "Do we want the ambulance?"

The dispatcher makes the decision for her, saying, "Let me go ahead and get you an ambulance out there."

Tierney said an emergency room doctor noticed the boy had red marks on his neck and alerted authorities to possible abuse.

The boy was released from the hospital that day, Tierney said, and remains in the custody of the Department of Children & Families, along with six other children who were in the Dollars' custody.


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