Big Investigation and Audio

Could the vandalizing of the BP-Amoco gas station have been prevented?

CREATED Oct. 5, 2011 - UPDATED: Oct. 13, 2011

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MILWAUKEE- July 3, 2011. It was a terrific summer day. Warm. Sunny. Summerfest was in full swing. And in the evening, the Independence Day fireworks lit up the Milwaukee sky. Residents had no idea that the real fireworks were yet to come. And one man says it all could have been avoided.

Tim, who doesn't want his last name revealed because he fears retaliation, lives near the intersection of Newhall and North Avenue on Milwaukee's east side. Tim told Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure,  shortly before midnight, trouble began to brew, not far from his home. He observed a crowd of 50 or so agitated teenagers beginning to cause problems.  Tim says they were loud, and appeared angry. "I could just feel something really bad was about to happen." And soon it did. The teens began fighting and throwing things around. At 11:55pm Tim called 9-1-1. He says he was told that there wasn't much police could do.

Tim was relieved when the teens moved away from his home, but he was nervous because they were moving down the street. He felt trouble wasn't dissipating, it was only moving. A few minutes later all heck broke loose when the teens took over a BP-Amoco gas station. Surveillance tape shows the teens stealing items and vandalizing the store. There is a time stamp on the tape that reads 12:20am. That is 25 minutes after Tim made his 9-1-1 call and was blown off.

But the damage didn't stop there. The gang went on to Reservoir Park where they beat up several folks returning home from the fireworks. The thuggery and intimidation continued for quite some time before police responded. It leaves Tim frustrated. "I tried to do the right thing. I called police and they completely blew me off. Those poor people in the park could have gotten home without being injured if they would have responded to my (9-1-1) call."

We have requested a copy of the 9-1-1 tape from police. We have also asked them to comment on Tim's version of events. We have not received the tape and we have not received any comment.