LISTEN: Dispatcher convinces accused child molester to surrender

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A 21-year veteran 911 operator is credited with convincing an accused child molester to put down his loaded gun and step outside his south county home to surrender to Sheriff’s deputies.

“You wouldn’t be calling me if you were not a good guy and wanted to make this right,” dispatcher Pam Metzdorf told 32-year-old Dennis Ray Mitchell, on Feb. 28. For most of the 15-minute long 911 call, Mitchell sobs inconsolably and expresses concern for his children who were outside, in front of the house at the time he called.

“You made a mistake, we all do,” Metzdorf said. “But don’t make it worse by pulling the trigger.”

“But this mistake has cost me my life,” Mitchell said.

“It doesn’t have to,” Metzdorf replied.

During the call, Metzdorf got Mitchell to promise to put down his gun, though he did not want to promise not to shoot. He told her multiple times that he had the gun as protection against a family member who had promised to kill him if anything happened to the children.

“I’m afraid for my life,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell sat the gun down on his bed, unlocked his bedroom door and went to the front door. He put his hands in the air and authorities ordered him to the ground. He was taken into custody without incident.

Mitchell has been charged with four felony counts of sexual battery of a victim age 12.

According to the arrest affidavit, the child, who was 12 at the time the sexual abuse began and is now 14, came forward to authorities to report the abuse.

Over the course of a year and a half, the girl was molested and assaulted “dozens” of times, she told investigators. She said that Mitchell told her he would kill her family if she ever told anyone, the arrest report states.

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