THORNTON, Colo. -- A 3-year-old boy tumbled out of a second-story window on Tuesday morning to a pile of rocks below, the Thornton Police Department said.
It was a scary morning for his mother — and a neighbor who said calls to 911 raised her anxiety even more after the child fell at Prairie Green Condominiums off 96th Avenue and Huron Street.
"I heard a bump, very sharp,” Fe Dela Cruz Burns said in Spanish.
Then, she said she heard a cry and looked out her window. There she saw a little boy lying motionless on the ground and the boy's mother rushing to him.
Burns asked if she should call 911. At 9:17 a.m., Burns' phone shows her call went into Adams County dispatch.
But Burns said the dispatcher didn't understand her because she spoke in broken English and asked her to talk slower.
"I told her two or three times the same address. She didn't understand," Burns said.
So she hung up. Then at 9:20 a.m., she got a call from Thornton dispatch. The dispatcher spoke English.
“He asked me, ‘What happened?’ My God," she said, nearly exasperated at telling the story again and worried help wasn’t on the way.
Again she explained and hung up. Dispatch called back at 9:21 a.m. with a Spanish speaker.
"I think of all that time that was lost," she said.
But Thornton police said emergency response was quick and knew the basic location.
"We had the fire department on scene within three minutes. They’re across the street. So I don't think there was an undue lag there," Sgt. Matt Cabot said.
Police said the child had stood up on a window air conditioning unit, pushed the screen out and fell.
"The injuries could have been worse," Cabot said.
He reminded parents to watch their kids around windows, to secure them and never place furniture near them.
"I was very scared and trembling," Burns said.
Police said the fall was an accident so there will be no criminal charges. The boy will be OK after suffering bumps, bruises and a cut to his head.
The neighbor said the boy is autistic and his father had recently been deported. The family was temporarily staying with a friend in the condo.