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Broward man pulls gun to fend off break-in — but where was BSO?

A 70-year-old Broward County man pulled out a gun and the intruder at his home didn't make his way in, but the Tamarac neighborhood is wondering why deputies didn't arrive sooner.
A 70-year-old Broward County man pulled out a gun and the intruder at his home didn't make his way in, but the Tamarac neighborhood is wondering why deputies didn't arrive sooner.

TAMARAC, Fla. – After calling 911, a 70-year-old Broward County resident pulled out a handgun and eventually scared off a man trying to break into his house.

Now, he and his neighbors are wondering why Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies didn’t respond.

Listening to the recorded 911 call, you can hear Bill Norkunas of Tamarac tell a dispatcher that “I got a guy trying to break into my house!”

It was about 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, and Norkunas had just stepped out of the shower. His security camera was rolling as a man started bashing his front door with a brick.

Norkunas spent nearly 15 minutes on the phone with 911 dispatchers — naked, on crutches and with a gun pointed at that suspect.

“I pointed the handgun through the glass at his face,” recalls Norkunas, who used those crutches because he suffers from polio. “And I said, ‘Go away, or I will shoot you.’”

Bill Norkunas of Tamarac says the Broward Sheriff's Office never responded despite his long 911 call as he pointed a gun at an intruder.
Bill Norkunas of Tamarac says the Broward Sheriff's Office never responded despite his long 911 call as he pointed a gun at an intruder.

Thankfully, the intruder couldn’t make it through Norkunas’ hurricane-resistant glass.

“And all the while, I’ve got 911 on my cell phone — and I’m looking down the road ... and no deputies there,” Norkunas adds. “Nobody came.”

Neighbors also called 911, including one of them twice, trying to get help.

BSO sent Local 10 News a statement saying that a thorough review of their response to the incident is ongoing.

“Within days of the incident in Tamarac, the Broward Sheriff’s Office began a thorough review into how the deputies on scene handled the response to this fluid and rapidly evolving situation,” the statement read. “The review into this incident is ongoing. The Broward Sheriff’s Office responds to tens of thousands of calls for service each year. The vast majority of these calls are handled appropriately with satisfactory outcomes. BSO constantly reviews and assesses its responses to emergency calls in order to provide the highest level of service to the public.”

Timothy Johnson, 23, was eventually arrested after he reportedly walked up the street, away from Norkunas’ home.

Norkunas’ confidence, though, is forever shaken.

“Don’t depend on 911,” he said. “Have a back-up plan.”


About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.