Bottled-water purchase leads to night in jail and felony charges for UVA student
posted at 8:01 pm on June 28, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
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.
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.
This, in pursuit of suspected underaged drinking. After the miscommunication, Daly “apologized profusely,” but was slapped with a couple felony charges, including “assault” because she allegedly “grazed” officers as she was trying to get the hell away from people she thought were trying to hurt her. The charges have been dropped, but she did spend a night in jail for her cookie dough purchase. It’s extremely dangerous for overzealous officers not to identify themselves properly, and as a young woman, she had every right to be afraid of a group of badly identified men coming after her. I don’t stop for cops on dark, country roads until I’ve reached a lit or populated area or open my windows for them until I see a uniform or badge (both of which have been known to be faked by Blue Light Bandits). I almost flipped out on a plainclothes officer in Virginia who burst out of his car and came at mine at a stoplight one night without identifying himself. He put both of us in a potentially very dangerous situation because he didn’t like that I had honked my horn once (not at him), which is not against Virginia law, in case you’re wondering. I escaped without an escalation, and publicized the incident on my morning radio show the next day, but there are plenty of vulnerable people without such luck or such outlets who are put in similar and much worse situations every day. And, as I’ve noted before, law enforcement officers are too rarely disciplined for such breaches.
Case in point.
But glad to see some wrongs righted, as in the case of the young man facing charges for wearing an NRA shirt:
Jared Marcum’s mother, Tanya Lardieri, was overcome with emotion after signing a dismissal order and cementing the fact that the criminal charges against her 14-year-old son, Jared Marcum, have been withdrawn.
“It should have come sooner but it’s done and we don’t have to have that concern anymore about him having a criminal record” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri tells WOWK. “I’m just glad that it’s over. His mother is glad it’s over.”
Jared’s attorney Ben White calls this a win for common sense. White says he’s heard too many stories of children being penalized for seemingly harmless behavior, just because each of these incidents included gun imagery of one sort or another.
And, while we’re on the subject, Dana Loesch flags this scary story from our neighbor the North, in which local police forcefully entered flooded homes after they evacuated the city, and confiscated an unknown number of firearms. Great moments in sanctioned looting:
HIGH RIVER, Alta. — The RCMP revealed Thursday that officers had seized a “substantial” number of firearms from homes in the evacuated town of High River, about 37 kilometres south Calgary.
“We just want to make sure that all of those things are in a spot that we control, simply because of what they are,” said Sgt. Brian Topham. “People have a significant amount of money invested in firearms … so we put them in a place that we control and that they’re safe.”
That news didn’t sit well with a frustrated crowd who had planned to breach a police checkpoint as the evacuation order from the town of about 13,000, residents stretched into its eighth day.
“I find that absolutely incredible” that they have the right to go into a person’s home and take their “belongings,” said resident Brenda Lackey, after learning Mounties have been securing residents’ guns. “When people find out about this there’s going to be untold hell to pay.”…
“This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties.
I have great respect for law enforcement officers who do their best to protect us in dangerous situations, but those who create dangerous situations too often are not subject to the same rules the rest of us are.