Midtown Mexican restaurant robbed; victims wait 30 minutes to call 911

TULSA - Tulsa police are looking for a suspect who fired a shot while robbing a midtown restaurant overnight.

Investigators say a Hispanic man walked into Taco's Don Francisco on 11th Street, pointed a gun at the manager and demanded money.

At one point the man fired a shot into the floor to intimidate the manager.

Police say they didn't receive the call until midnight, about 30 minutes after the robbery.

"The owner of the business didn't know that we have people who could have talked to him in Spanish," said Cpl.l R.W. Solomon. "So he went and got another person that spoke English."

Mary Ramirez owns a nearby restaurant, La Perla Negra.

She is not surprised in the delay.

"Some people are not sure because they're nervous," she said through an interpreter. "They're not sure that the police can understand us."

Francisco Trevino, the president and CEO of the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, wants to see the 911 Call Center, spread the word about the benefits of 911.

"PR and marketing is very important to reach out to any community," he said.

The call center is already working with the city, to improve communication.

"We need to get the word out to people that they don't need to be apprehensive about calling 911, no matter what language they speak," said Scott Clark, interim 911 director.

The search continues for bilingual call-takers.

So far, one has been hired and another person is in training.

As for the robbery, police say the suspect made off with a small amount of cash.

Anyone with information about the suspect can call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS. For a Spanish-speaking operator call (918) 596-7000.

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