17-year-old Adrianne Ledesma of Lincoln Park, Michigan was helping her father recover from brain surgery when he suffered a horrific seizure just 3 weeks after leaving the hospital. She called 911, but couldn’t get an answer. As her father lay seizing on the floor, Adrianne started to panic.
Not knowing what else to do, Adrianne called 911 a second time. The phone rang multiple times and it seemed like no one would answer. Filled with fear and anger Adrianne screamed “What the f*ck,” just as Officer Robert McFarland answered the call.
Adrianne was on the verge of tears when she told McFarland her address and asked for an ambulance. Before dispatching the call McFarland felt the need to correct Adrianne’s behavior. “Well okay, first of all, you don’t need to swear over 911 and slow down,” he said. “OK, send me a f*cking ambulance!” the frustrated teen replied. Officer McFarland hung up the phone without another word.
As her father’s seizure continued, Adrianne called back a third time and Officer McFarland answered again. “Are you going to give me an ambulance?” she asked. “Are you going to swear again, you stupid a**?” McFarland replied. Certain her father was going to die, Adrianne lashed out at McFarland saying “Are we going to have a f*cking problem?” The offended officer wanted to teach the teen a lesson and said “No! You’re not going to get one!”
He hung up again and Adrianne called back a third time. She demanded to know his name and threatened to sue. Officer McFarland called her a buffoon and hung up on her after she requested an ambulance for the third time.
Left with no other options, Adrianne got in her car and drove to the police station while her brother tended to her father. She had no idea that Officer McFarland had finally contacted the fire desk. “I kept getting a 911 call from this filthy-mouthed girl that wanted a rescue,” he said in a recorded conversation with the officer on call at the fire desk. “I never found out what it was and I was never able to transfer it over to you.”
While Adrianne drove to the police station a squad car was being dispatched to her home. She arrived at police headquarters Officer McFarland found her. “Are you the girl with the foul mouth?” he asked her.
Moments later Adrianne was in handcuffs as Officer McFarland arrested her. Adrianne asked what the charges were and Officer McFarland charged her with disorderly conduct and “abusing 911,” a charge that wasn’t accurate.
While Adrianne was sitting in handcuffs, first responders finally arrived at her home and treated her father. Lincoln Park chief of police Tom Karnes was less than pleased with Officer McFarland’s conduct calling it “not the station’s finest moment” in an interview with ABC local affiliate WXYZ 7 News.
Officer McFarland was suspended without pay for two weeks and sent for additional training for anger management. Adrianne sued for wrongful arrest and was awarded $35,000 in a settlement out of court according to the News-Herald.
Officer McFarland filed a grievance through his union over the unpaid suspension, but an “outside arbitrator upheld the decision” according to City Manager Steve Duchane.