Monday, January 16, 2006

Fearmongering for Total Control Police: Sprint Refused To Help Find Abducted Toddler

NBC10 January 13, 2006

CORONA, Calif. -- Police said the Sprint telecommunications company refused to provide information to help locate a toddler who was in his father's SUV when it was stolen. In response, Riverside County lawmakers wanted to put a moratorium on permits for new Sprint cellular towers, but they discovered they don't have authority. "My point is to send the message to the provider that we need to do things differently when a child's life is at risk," said county Supervisor John Tavaglione, who proposed the moratorium.
"The bureaucracy and the hoops that everyone has to jump through need to be minimized." The drama began the morning of Dec. 23, when Jason Cochran buckled his 10-month-old son, Wade, into his car seat and ran into his house near Corona to get his 3-year-old son, Blake. When Cochran came back outside, his beige Lincoln Aviator -- and Wade -- were gone. Cochran's cell phone, equipped with a global positioning system, also was in the car.
But Cochran's wife, Stephanie, said a Sprint operator told her the company couldn't give her the coordinates for the Aviator's location. The company told a Riverside County sheriff's detective that it wouldn't release the information without a subpoena and a $25 fee, she said. Deputies found Wade in the car near his home about two hours later -- without getting the cellular data, officials said. "We would have preferred a smoother, more effective ability to access the information that Sprint possessed," said Tom Freeman, executive officer for the Sheriff's Department. "Time is critical in an investigation where you've had an abduction of a child."
Sprint is investigating the incident, said company spokeswoman Kathleen Dunleavy. The company's emergency procedures should allow police to get coordinate information in "a matter of minutes" by filling out a special form and faxing it back to Sprint, she said. "If proper procedure is followed, Sprint acts very quickly," Dunleavy said. The alleged car thief was arrested in late December.



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