A Bethel woman claims she saw a man beating a child in New Haven on Thursday, but police ignored her calls for help. That was day police rallied in protest over 16 police layoffs.
Now, police are asking for help from the public to find the man.
"I was seriously in sick to my stomach. I was almost in shock. When I looked over, I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Kristen Angell said.
Angell, 33, was walking from one Yale building to another at Congress Avenue and Vernon Streets around 2 p.m. last Thursday when she says she saw the man climb into the back of the car and being punching the child.
She called 911, but said police never arrived. "I sat there for three hours for someone to show up and say they are looking into this and the whole time I'm waiting I'm thinking maybe they are concentrating on pulling this vehicle over. It turns out they weren't," she said.
The incident Angell witnessed could have happened at the same time the police demonstration was ending, a police spokesman said, but the department’s response was due to someone assigning an incorrect priority code to Angell’s 911 report.
"If it had been coded as a priority one I have no doubt that an officer would have gotten there properly," said Robert Smutz, Chief Administrative Officer for New Haven.
In a release issued on Wednesday, police said they checked DMV records for the license plate number they were given, Connecticut license plate 471-FPB, and there was no information.
The witness described an older model SUV driven by a thin man, 30 to 40 years old, about 5-feet, 6-inches tall, with dark hair.
Anyone who saw anything or sees a similar SUV with a variation on the plate number is asked to call New Haven police.