Police response to 16th Street Mall beating delayed 14 minutes

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DENVER -- Police officers who normally patrol the 16th Street Mall on their motorcycles weren't nearby Thursday night when a group of teens assaulted and robbed a couple.

The Denver Police Department said it took 14 minutes to get officers to the scene to help a man who was severely beaten. He had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.

"I got dog-piled, kicked in the head, punched repeatedly," he said after being released from the hospital.

The man said a group of teens attacked him on the 16th Street Mall, one of Denver's premiere tourist stops.

"I'm shaken up by this event," he said.

The man said he's glad his fiancee wasn't hurt as badly as he was. Radio communications from Thursday night explain some of the delayed response, but not all of it.

A call went out at 9:19 p.m.

"16th and Arapahoe. Complainant got jumped by five or six males. Party has a weapon," the dispatcher said.

Usually the mall has officers around, but not that night. A response from an officer to the call on the radio explains.

"I will cover down there. Mall 6 and Mall 25 are going to be headed out to South Federal to serve a ticket. So I'll be your only mall bike for a little while."

Officers arrived at the scene of the beating five minutes later. But the victim said: "It seemed to be that it was at least a 15-minute response."

That's because Denver police said when the victim called 911, the dispatch center waited nine minutes before calling for help. In a statement, police won't say why, only that they are investigating.

That's not acceptable for the man's fiancee.

"I couldn't do anything about it," she said. "He was on the phone and the cops still weren't there."

She and her fiance have serious questions about the safety of the mall and the response for police patrolling it.

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