Toledo rape victim blames cuts in police force

A Toledo woman attacked and raped. Did cuts in the police department contribute to the crime?

A Toledo woman claims she was raped by an intruder for more than an hour last month. Now, she's blaming the reduced number of Toledo police officers for the attack.

She spoke with News 11's Lisa Rantala.

Rantala reports that in the 1990's, there were more than 700 officers patroling our streets. Now it's down to 669. The rape victim says she never would have noticed the numbers until someone told her there were no crews to show up to her 911 call.

The victim said, "Just straight fear." That's what she felt last month after police say 31-year old Lee Michael Mascorro broke into her west Toledo home. "It's horrible," the victim said, "that anyone would have to go through it. I'm trying to deal with it day-by-day right now." She tried to call 911 on the intruder, but she says Mascorro grabbed the phone.

Then, she went to the bathroom, cut the window screen, and tried to get her neighbors to help, screaming "Just help me, help me," as loud as she could yell. But she says Mascorro grabbed her, took her to the basement and raped her.

She said her only hope was that one of her neighbors had heard her. After an hour though, her hope was lost. "I kind of made peace with it all at one point because I really didn't think I was getting out." Then, after the rape police came to the door.

The police chief tells News 11 they did receive a 911 call at 2:49 p.m. when the victim started screaming. They also say crews didn't arrive until after four p.m.

The anonymous caller heard screams from the house, but the call went out as a priority two, which means no sirens and that crews should respond when available. "It would have saved me a lot of trauma and a lot of things that day would not have happened if they would have actually shown up," the unidentified woman said. The chief says it happened during the afternoon shift change when few cars are on the street.

This victim says there should be no more officers cut.  "There are other things that can go before the safety and security of the citizens of your city."

The chief did not want to go on camera about this story because he says there was no formal complaint so it has not been fully investigated. When asked if the reduction of officers may have played a factor, he relied that any agency would do a better job with more people.

Posted by LS