Norfolk woman’s 911 call for help ends with damaged front door

Posted at 11:44 PM, Sep 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-25 09:11:12-04

Norfolk, Va. - Norfolk emergency responders knocked down Carla Boykins' door concerned she was inside and needed help, but another crew had already taken her to the hospital.

Five months later, her door is still damaged and the city of Norfolk told NewsChannel 3 they are not paying to get it fixed.

"I'm frustrated," Boykins told NewsChannel 3.  "It's not my fault!"

Just before 3 a.m. on May 3, 2013, Boykins' boyfriend Matthew Jones called 911 from her home because she was not feeling well.  Norfolk Fire and Rescue responded and transported her to the hospital.  However, while she and Jones were in the hospital room, another paramedic came in to talk to her.

"He said ma'am the police department, the ambulance and the fire department is at your house," Boykins recalled.  "They thought you was in the house sick, so they kicked the door in."

According to Norfolk city officials, Portsmouth dispatch contacted them and said they accidentally sent a crew to a Portsmouth address that should have been routed to Boykins home in Norfolk.  So, Norfolk sent a second crew to Boykins house.

When no one answered the door, they broke it down to make sure no one else inside needed help. The house was empty, but nearly five months later no one has taken responsibility for the door.  On top of that, Boykins showed NewsChannel 3 call records showing neither she nor her boyfriend made any calls to Portsmouth dispatch.

"I don't want no extra money," she said.  "I just want my door fixed."

City of Norfolk spokesperson Lori Crouch told NewsChannel 3 that they decided back in August not to fix the door because their responders technically followed protocol.  However, she said the claim adjusters contracted by the city dropped the ball by not relaying that information to Boykins.

Still at issue is how Portsmouth received a call for service for a Norfolk problem, and why it took them dispatching a crew to the wrong address to figure it out.  Portsmouth officials told NewsChannel 3 there is an internal investigation into what happened on their end.

NewsChannel 3 is still digging through several sources of call records to get to the bottom of it.