Charlottesville, VA – The state’s Alcohol Beverage Control is reviewing an arrest of a University of Virginia student who was charged with felonies after evading officials who attempted to question the girl immediately following the purchase of bottled water.
The incident in question occurred around 10:15 pm on April 11. Elizabeth Daly, 20, and her two roommates were approached by plainclothes agents just outside of the Harris Teeter store inside the Barracks Road Shopping Center.
Officers were in the area that night, concentrating on underage possession of alcohol enforcement.
Daly and her roommates had purchased a blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water along with cookie dough and ice cream. The zealous officers mistook the crate of bottled water for a case of beer.
An ABC statement claims the officers acted upon a reasonable suspicion, as the situation appeared to be an underage person in the possession of alcohol. The female agent who approached Daly and her friends identified herself as a police officer and displayed her badge.
The Daily Progress reports the statement further addressed, “This whole unfortunate incident could have been avoided had the occupants complied with the law enforcement requests.”
Daly failed to comply because the badge appeared unidentifiable and the girls were unsure of who the agents were. Then, according to the college student, one of the men drew a gun, inciting a panic.
For self-defense, young females are often taught to be cautious when being approached at night by people they do not know. Anyone can claim to be law enforcement, using the ruse in an attempt to take advantage.
As there have been circumstances where people have been approached by criminals posing as police officers who ultimately victimize them, it is fathomable why three college-aged girls would be wary of a seemingly random approach in a parking lot by someone claiming to be an officer in plainclothes with a questionable badge.
The aforementioned concern does not necessary excuse evading authorities; however, it does give a plausible explanation as to why the students, after managing to get into Daly’s SUV, drove off, striking two officers while doing so.
Daly’s written account states, “They were not in anything close to a uniform … 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.”
Reports say Daly was urged to “Go, Go, Go” by her passengers, who had all heard horror stories of sexual assaults from surviving victims and feared the same could befall them.
The women dialed 911 while pulling out of the parking lot to report what was happening and to ask whether the agents were officers. Daly said she was planning to drive to a police station.
Agents managed to pull over the SUV shortly after with a marked vehicle. Daly apologized for the rash reaction, claiming she didn’t realize the people were really law enforcement.
The student was arrested specifically for assaulting and eluding officers.
Felony charges, which included two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer and one count of eluding police, were dropped Thursday, according to Fox News. Had she been indicted on the Class 6 felonies, Daly could have faced up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine per each offense.
Would you have reacted the same way Daly and her friends did if put in this situation? Do you blame Daly and her friends for reacting (fight-or-flight response) as they did?
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