VALLEJO (KPIX 5) – When you call 911, you hope that help is on the way quickly. But a Vallejo bartender said that was not the case, when she tried to stop a woman from putting lives in danger.
It was after midnight at After Hours bar in Vallejo, when bartender Cocoa Cooper noticed after serving a female patron two Bud Lights, something was off.
“You could tell that her speech was a little off and they were sitting, trying to conversate with her trying to sober her up,” Cooper told KPIX 5.
Cooper and the remaining few patrons in the bar tried to convince her to take an Uber or a Lyft to get home, she refused and smoked a cigarette.
“When she came back in, she was looking for her keys to leave. So at this point, it was like, we’re not letting you go. Either take an Uber or we’re going to get you a black and white cab,” Cooper recalled,
Black and white cab is bar code for police cruiser.
Cooper called 911, and waited.
“They said, just stay on hold, we’ll get somebody there. So, I put the phone on speaker. I put the phone down. I started washing dishes, closing down the bar, things like that,” she recalled. “And by the time I looked at the phone, it was 15 minutes and 17 seconds.”
Cooper said she waited 28 minutes for help with the intoxicated patron, and even called a sleeping off-duty Vallejo police officer she knows for help.
When KPIX 5 asked Vallejo Police about it, they said that at 1:30 a.m. they dispatched officers to the bar.
Police said they arrived at the bar at 1:35, and claimed they didn’t see the patron’s vehicle. Cooper said she was still inside with the patron, and her car was still there.
“Never did the door open, was there a knock, was there a honk. Didn’t see lights or anything outside. Because at this point, it’s 2 a.m., I called them back again,” the bartender said.
The patron eventually couldn’t be stopped and got in her car.
“When she turned out of the parking lot, she turned on the wrong side of the street,” Cooper said.
Cooper again called 911 from her own car, following the drunk patron through residential neighborhoods and into the neighboring community of American Canyon.
The time stamp on her phone marks that call at 2:16 am.
“I was letting her know the color, make of the car, the name because I had closed her receipt with a credit card, the license plate number. I let her know every street we were turning on, every car that she almost hit,” Cooper said.
Finally, officers in American Canyon pulled the drunk patron over, arresting her, and spoke to Cooper.
“When you drive down the freeway and all you see is “Report Drunk Drivers” (signs) and you do that – and nobody comes to the rescue. It’s like, don’t post about it, don’t put it on a billboard,” she said.