News

Wrentham police probing whether cruiser should have been sent more quickly to incident that ended in motel worker’s dragging death

WRENTHAM — Police say that a dispatcher promised, but did not send a cruiser to handle a dispute at a motel that allegedly ended with a housekeeper being killed when she was hit and dragged by a pickup truck driven by a man trying to skip out on his bill.

“The dispatcher informed the caller she would send a cruiser to handle this call,” Wrentham police said in a statement. But an investigation “confirmed she did not send the cruiser.”

Moses Acloque, 22, of Norwood, is facing multiple charges in the death of Kanchanben Patel, 58, on Nov. 18. Patel was dragged from the Arbor Inn in Wrentham for three miles across the town line into Foxborough.

Advertisement—Continue Reading Below

The statement today noted that at the time of the first call to police, police and rescue personnel were responding to a different location to what turned out to be a death due to apparent heart failure. It also said the call came in on the department’s business line, rather than 911.

And it said that the initial call reported “individuals who were in a room and hadn’t paid” and “there was no indication of anyone being in danger or potential danger.”

Wrentham Police Lieutenant Detective Bill McGrath, who is overseeing the investigation into the dispatcher’s actions, said, “The dispatcher could not provide a reason she didn’t send a car. ... It’s clear to me it was an unintentional error.”

“There is no way for us to determine if sending a cruiser immediately after the first call ... would have changed the outcome and we are deeply saddened such a tragedy occurred at all. We extend our sincere sympathies” to the family and friends of the victim, the statement said.

“It’s impossible to tell. There are just too many factors to consider,” said McGrath.

The dispatcher is on paid administrative leave. The investigation is expected to last another week or two, McGrath said. He said possible disciplinary action would include termination.

“She’s devastated. There’s no two ways about it,” McGrath said.

The department provided this timeline of what happened on the night Patel died.

9:51:55 p.m. — Police receive a 911 medical call for Taunton Street, which turns out to be a fatal case of apparent heart failure.

9:54:21 p.m. — Police receive a call on the business line, 508-384-2121, from the Arbor Inn owner reporting the dispute.

10:02:01 p.m. — Police receive a 911 call from Interstate Travel Plaza, two buildings north of the Arbor Inn, reporting that a man had run into the plaza to report someone had been hit by a truck and was being dragged down the highway.

Patel and her husband, Dahyabhai, were both struck by the pickup after other motel staff confronted Acloque and his friend about their bill for a room at the Route 1 motel, where they apparently went to watch the Patriots game, prosecutors said. Dahyabhai Patel had minor injuries. Acloque has pleaded not guilty.

Share