Mesa police chief recounts ‘terrifying’ domestic violence call
PHOENIX — Mesa Police Chief Ken Cost described domestic violence as a “very, very serious topic” as he recounted a recent “frantic” 911 call from an 8-year-old boy whose mom was being abused and threatened with a gun.
“I listened to the 911 call, and it was gripping, and it was sad, and it was terrifying,” he said. “But this little one had the courage to make that call.”
Cost said the abuser had a gun to the mom’s head while the boy was on the phone.
“He looked at that 8-year-old, and he knew what happened,” Cost said. “He put the gun down, and then we went to hide. It allowed the mother and the 8-year-old to escape that situation.”
He believes the young boy helped save his mom’s life by calling for help.
Cost shared the story while speaking at an event Wednesday in Mesa to honor survivors and remember victims of domestic violence.
The event was part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It included remarks by Mesa Mayor John Giles and a survivor of domestic violence. A representative from the Mesa Family Advocacy Center also shared resources available to victims.
“What I want to say to our folks out there that are being abused and are victims and are survivors is that we’re here for you,” Cost told attendants, many of them wearing purple in solidarity with domestic violence victims.
He also shared that during the pandemic, the Mesa Police Department saw an increase in domestic violence incidents. At the same time, there was decrease in calls for service for other crimes.
“It was significant,” Cost said. “In one year, we had 33% – a third of our homicides – were domestic violence related. This is a very, very serious topic that needs to be talked about.”