Six Plainclothes Cops Attack and Arrest University of Virginia Sorority Woman After She Buys Water From Grocery Store
Modern policing! Public safety! No amount of snarky irony can prepare you for this tale of police idiocy in the name of the most minor and absurd of laws, reported in Daily Progress out of Virginia:
When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.
Photo credit: Fergal Mac Eoinin / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.
A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.
“They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform,” she recalled Thursday in a written account of the April 11 incident.
“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 stated.
The authorities agree with her tale, but, you know, she had pissed the cops off by then.
Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman read Daly’s account and said it was factually consistent.
Prosecutors say she apologized profusely when she realized who the agents were. But that wasn’t good enough for ABC agents, who charged her with three felonies. Prosecutors withdrew those charges Thursday in Charlottesville General District Court, but Daly still can’t understand why she sat in jail….
Agents charged Daly with two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer and one count of eluding police, all Class 6 felonies carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $2,500 in fines per offense….
Daly incurred the assault charges when she “grazed” two agents with her SUV, according to court records. She drove the SUV past the agents after her front-seat passenger, in a panic, yelled at Daly to “go, go, go” and climbed into the rear of the vehicle to gain space from the men on her side of the car, the records state…
Oh, the irony!
The women dialed 911 as they pulled out of the parking lot to report what was happening and ask whether the agents were police officers. Daly said she was planning to drive to a police station. She stopped the SUV nearby for an agent driving a vehicle with lights and sirens, Chapman said.
The way the nation met 33-year-old MBTA Transit Police officer Richard Donohue was — like much of the conflicting information from that night of mayhem in Watertown, Massachusetts — violent, fast, and scary: He was exchanging fire with the Tsarnaev brothers, the story went, and he took a gun shot to his right thigh from the Boston bombing suspects — an injury that would see Donohue lose all of his own blood, sever three blood vessels, send him into cardiac arrest, and almost die. Now comes a more complete picture, with more eyewitnesses telling a new story, that Donohue was probably shot by a fellow police officer.
The Boston Globe has a long story in today’s paper with new accounts from Watertown residents who witnessed “the climactic moment in the confrontation, when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove between two groups of police officers amid police gunfire” in the early morning of April 19. Jane Dyson lives less than 200 feet from where Donohue went down:
“A black SUV appeared, and rapid gun fire was focused on the vehicle,” Dyson wrote in a statement provided to the Globe, referring to the vehicle Tsarnaev allegedly drove in his escape. “It appeared to me that an individual at the corner [of the street] fell to the ground and had probably been hit in the gunfire.”
Dyson’s account of the guns-blazing getaway seems to indicate that Donohue was shot while Dzhokhar was fleeing (and running over his brother) and that the gunfire was one-way, not an exchange between the suspects and the cops. Indeed, the Globe reports that the Tsarnaev brothers were no longer armed as Dzhokhar drove away, which would seem to align with updated reports about the next day that the younger Tsarnaev brother was not, in fact, armed when authorities captured him in a Watertown boat.
MEXICO CITY — Mexican federal police who ambushed a U.S. Embassy vehicle, wounding two CIA officers, were not investigating a kidnapping in the area, the attorney general’s office said Sunday, contradicting the official police explanation of the shooting.
The CIA officers were heading down a dirt road to a military installation south of Mexico City on Aug. 24 with a Mexican navy captain when a carload of gunmen opened fire on their SUV with diplomatic plates and gave chase. More vehicles joined in the pursuit, and the armored SUV was riddled with bullets.
The grandparents of a 7-year-old Florida girl are facing several charges after they allegedly towed her in a plastic car behind their SUV—all while under the influence of alcohol.
The Herald Tribune reports that Paul J. Berloni, 49, is charged with driving under the influence, child endangerment and driving with a suspended license. Sarasota Sheriff’s deputies say Berloni has been convicted on three prior DUIs. His wife, Belinda Jean Berloni, 47, faces one charge of child endangerment.
The granddaughter was reportedly not injured during the incident.
According to the arrest report, the Berloni’s “failed to provide adequate supervision for the child and put the child in a situation that could have easily resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or even death.”
Police became aware of the illegal ride when a deputy spotted the couple towing their granddaughter in a plastic Hot Wheels car. The child was dressed in a swimsuit, without any protective gear. The Hot Wheels car was attached to the SUV’s trailer hitch with two dog leashes and traveling at an estimated 5 to 10 mph.
Belinda Berloni was reportedly riding in the SUV’s cargo area and “cheering on the child,” according to the arrest report. The couple did not deny they were drinking or that Paul Berloni’s license was suspended. Rather, Belinda Berloni reportedly said “that she understood that it was dangerous to drag a child behind the vehicle but stated they were just having fun and had been doing this all day,” according to the arrest report.
The child’s father was called to the scene and reportedly became “verbally upset” with his mother before taking custody of his child.