911 Dispatcher Fields Call from a Man Who Tried to Drown his Own Children

A 911 dispatcher in North Carolina got a call from a highly distraught man on September 20, 2015 rambling about drowning his own children. Alan Lassiter had apparently picked the site at random and did not know where he was. He asked the dispatcher to find him by GPS. Then he delivered the chilling message that he feared losing his children to the local child protective agency.

Lassiter said that he needed the police and that someone needed to break the news to his wife. He admitted that his daughters were “in the lake drowning.” After telling a female bystander that he had just drowned his daughters, he became too distraught to speak. The woman took over and gave their precise location to the dispatcher.

Fortunately, an off duty Durham County Sheriff’s Deputy was home nearby and was able to rush to the scene after being called by the apartment manager. David Earp lived just around the corner, and acted quickly when he heard that children were in trouble.

When Deputy Earp arrived, he heard wailing and spotted the girls in the lake, which had very steep banks. One of the children was floating and crying, while the other was fully submerged. He charged into the chest-deep water and scooped up the 5 and 3 year olds, holding one in each arm. With the help of police officers, he then performed CPR for about 15 minutes on the 3 year old, who was the one who had been fully submerged – thankfully the child was able to be resuscitated.

Fortunately, Lassiter’s 7-year old son had escaped and was seeking help, although the man insisted that he had been kidnapped.

Lassiter is now in the Durham County jail charged with three counts of attempted murder and under a $2.3 million bond.


©2018 https://www.911dispatcheredu.org All Rights Reserved.