Girl buys water, spends night in jail

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218
Girl buys water, spends night in jail

[h=1]Girl buys water, spends night in jail[/h]

Felony charges were dropped on Thursday against a 20-year-old University of Virginia student who says she panicked when undercover agents from the state's Alcohol Beverage Control division mistook her water purchase for beer.

According to Charlottesville (Va.) Daily Progress, the student, Elizabeth Daly, was walking to her car on April 11 at approximately 10:15 p.m. with a box of sparkling water, cookie dough and ice cream she had just bought from a local supermarket when the agents?six men and one woman, all in plainclothes?approached suspecting the box, a blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water, to be a 12-pack of beer. One jumped on the hood of her SUV; another pulled out a gun, Daly said, as her roommates seated inside looked on in horror.

"They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform," Daly wrote in an account submitted to the court. "I couldn't put my windows down unless I started my car, and when I started my car they began yelling to not move the car, not to start the car. They began trying to break the windows. My roommates and I were ... terrified."

Daly's roommate in the front passenger seat told her to "go, go, go"?and that's what she did, apparently "grazing" two of the agents in the process.

The students called 911 as they left the parking lot, police said, and were pulled over by another agent driving a vehicle with lights and sirens, Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney Dave Chapman told the paper.

Daly apologized when she realized who they were, Chapman said, but agents arrested Daly and charged her with two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer and one count of eluding police?each carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $2,500 in fines. She spent the night in Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

"This has been an extremely trying experience," Daly wrote. "It is something to this day I cannot understand or believe has come to this point."

Either can Chapman.

"It wouldn't be the right thing to do to prosecute this," he said.

Nonetheless, Chapman "stood by the agents' decision to file charges, citing faith in a process that yielded an appropriate resolution."

"You don't know all the facts until you complete the investigation," he said.

My debate questions:

1)What would you have done in this girl's shoes? Would you have also taken off or rolled down your window / stayed?

2)Do you believe that this is appropriate behavior of the officers even IF it was an underage beer purchase?

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

If you click the link you can see an image of the case of water that was purchased. From a distance and given the hour of night, I *can* see that the officers could possibly mistake it for a case of beer.

That said -- it wasn't beer and EVEN if it was, I would be terrified to have 6 unidentified people surrounding my car at night with one jumping on the hood, others with guns. I would have probably fled as well - calling police just as these girls did. To NOT do so in today's world would have put her life and the lives of those in her vehicle in jeopardy should these not have been officers.

Since these officers obviously did not have someone inside staking out the store, (and thus viewing what was ACTUALLY purchased), I do not understand why they needed to be in plain clothes as they jumped out to "apprehend" their suspect.

They are (IMO) very fortunate that one of the officers wasn't run over.

FTR, I am not against efforts to stop illegal sales to minors or to take action (incl. arrest) of those that do buy alcohol using false ID's, etc. I DO, have an issue with this type of tactic and am upset for those girls.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

1)What would you have done in this girl's shoes? Would you have also taken off or rolled down your window / stayed? 10pm and I'm a young woman...you don't have uniforms on and badges that are not identifiable? You bet your butt I'm in the car and calling the police and possibly running.

2)Do you believe that this is appropriate behavior of the officers even IF it was an underage beer purchase? I think for 1 case of possible beer this is over the top. Actually, in most cases I think this is over the top. Why aren't they going after the store if they think they sold to a minor?

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

"Jessica80" wrote:

1)What would you have done in this girl's shoes? Would you have also taken off or rolled down your window / stayed? 10pm and I'm a young woman...you don't have uniforms on and badges that are not identifiable? You bet your butt I'm in the car and calling the police and possibly running. 2)Do you believe that this is appropriate behavior of the officers even IF it was an underage beer purchase? I think for 1 case of possible beer this is over the top. Actually, in most cases I think this is over the top. Why aren't they going after the store if they think they sold to a minor?

THIS!! Why not storm the STORE instead? Isn't it more effective to make certain that the clerks are checking ID's and fine THEM and the store if not? (Even in that case to go in with guns drawn would have been WRONG.)

As for being in this girl's position -- total agreement!

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

Read this yesterday, crazy situation.

I would have absolutely ran like this girl did.

The cops actions are deplorable and totally against their training.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

Agree with all of the above! What the girl did was absolutely understandable given the situation! Seriously, if she gets any jail time (beyond the night she already spent!) or fines out of this it will be absolutely ridiculous.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Boringly, I agree with all of you!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Boringly, I agree with all of you!

Me, too. I don't really buy her excuse that she couldn't roll down the windows without starting the car, but there's no way I'd roll down my window to talk with six people with guns and unidentifiable badges at night in a liquor store parking lot. She doesn't need a lame excuse like that, just say, I wanted to get my friends & me the hell out of there with our lives. I can believe that. I can not believe that there is a car on the market with windows that do not go down if you just turn the key to the first position.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I had to think for a minute if I could roll my window down unless my car was on - I think I can, but the key still has to be in and turned. Regardless, I don't blame this girl one bit for running and calling the police. If she were trying to evade arrest, she wouldn't have called the police. As a side note, I sure am glad that none of them decided to shoot her as she was trying to drive away (remember the hotly debated Wal-Mart shooting?) At least the officers did that much right.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

The fact that she called for help says it all.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I cant roll my windows down unless the car is on

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"mom3girls" wrote:

I cant roll my windows down unless the car is on

Really??? You can't just turn the key to the first position? You have to actually start the car to do it? What kind of car is that?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

"Spacers" wrote:

Really??? You can't just turn the key to the first position? You have to actually start the car to do it? What kind of car is that?

It is a Saab. Some weird safety thing.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I had to think for a minute if I could roll my window down unless my car was on - I think I can, but the key still has to be in and turned. Regardless, I don't blame this girl one bit for running and calling the police. If she were trying to evade arrest, she wouldn't have called the police. As a side note, I sure am glad that none of them decided to shoot her as she was trying to drive away (remember the hotly debated Wal-Mart shooting?) At least the officers did that much right.

Well, she was white and they werent security guards Smile