Jackson County prosecutors have filed criminal charges against an Independence man accused in a brutal assault outside Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium that raised concerns among local officials about 911 response times.
Johnathan Scaletty, 34, of Lee’s Summit, and his wife, Brandi, had floor seats for a Luke Combs concert at Arrowhead on June 10. The pair were in their vehicle, waiting out a burst of rain, after tailgating in the parking lot ahead of the show when the attack unfolded.
The Scalettys say a group of about a dozen people tried to open the rear hatch of their vehicle. After confronting them, Jonathan Scaletty was beaten severely, landing him in the hospital with a broken ankle, bruises to his face and cuts across his body.
The Scalettys said they called 911 as the group walked toward Arrowhead for the Luke Combs concert. After being put on hold, they waited an hour for an ambulance to get there, authorities said.
“It seemed like we weren’t helped or protected or safe at all even after we were reaching out for it,” Scaletty, a father of two and Ford assembly plant employee, told The Star during a June interview.
The alleged assailant charged by Jackson County prosecutors this week is Garrett Sage, 30. He is accused of first-degree assault, a Class A felony under Missouri law that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
An arrest warrant issued for Sage on Monday calls for him to be held on a $50,000 bond. It was unclear as of Tuesday night whether Sage had been arrested as there was no court record indicating the arrest warrant had been served.
In identifying Sage as a suspect, detectives relied on an eyewitness who knew him and recalled seeing him “sucker punch” Scaletty in the parking lot. The witness said Sage put Scaletty in a chokehold and she believed Sage was “going to kill” him, a Kansas City detective wrote in charging documents.
The detective wrote in a probable cause affidavit that multiple bystanders came to the aid of the Scalettys before security and police officers arrived “an unknown span of time later.”
Detectives say Sage appears to have no criminal history. But they noted he “showed very violent and aggressive behaviors with no regard” for Scaletty’s wellbeing.
Court records did not list a defense attorney for Sage as of Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the concerns raised by the Scalettys about their 911 call came amid an ongoing conversation about slow emergency response times in Kansas City, where police have said there’s a shortage of dispatchers.
Kansas City police have said call logs show the Scalettys were on hold for approximately four minutes. Authorities have confirmed it took an hour for the ambulance to arrive.
The case quickly caught the attention of public officials, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. The mayor, who has referenced his own firsthand problem with using 911, pointed to the incident as exemplative of “a crisis that needs to change immediately.”
For several years, Kansas City police have failed to meet the National Emergency Number Association call answering standards, according to data from the Mid-America Regional Council.
Targets set by the national group encourage 90% of calls to be answered within 15 seconds and 95% answered within 20 seconds.
In 2022, 65% of calls were answered within 15 seconds and about 87% of calls were answered within 20 seconds. During the month before Scaletty was assaulted, about 41% of calls were answered in 15 seconds and 45% within 20 seconds.
The issues with 911 wait times haveprompted Kansas City leaders to explore other options for handling emergency calls. Currently, the system operates under the administration of the Mid-America Regional Council, though the Kansas City Police Department answers all 911 calls made in the city.
Potential solutions to the problem of hold times include the creation of Kansas City’s own 911 call center. Leaders have also asked communications company Motorola, which makes equipment in the regional 911 system, to research and develop a way for an auto-attendant to help direct residents to specific emergency services.
The Star’s Robert A. Cronkleton, Luke Nozicka and Anna Spoerre contributed to this report.