July 4, 2013
Newly-released 911 tapes offer more insight into the tense moments between a University of Virginia student and undercover agents from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The call was made the night of April 11, when 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly was arrested for assault and battery after trying to get away from plain-clothes ABC agents outside the Harris Teeter at the Barracks Road Shopping Center. A passenger in the car made the call, but Daly can be heard screaming in fear in the background.
"We're surrounded by people," the caller said. "Oh, my God! We don't know if they're real police officers or not and we're freaking out."
ABC agents were trying to stop Daly and the other women with her, because they thought the women might have illegally purchased alcohol. It turned out Daly had only purchased sparkling water. But she was still arrested that night, because the agents say they were grazed by her car as she tried to get away.
"They weren't in uniform and then they started holding up badges," the caller said. "But we didn't look at the badges because we were freaking out. So we started driving away. What should we do?"
The dispatcher then asked someone in the Emergency Communications Center if there were ABC agents near Harris Teeter, and he asked to speak to one of the men.
The caller hands over the phone to a man who identifies himself as ABC agent John Taylor.
"That's what I thought you might have been," the 911 operator said. "They were really scared. I don't think they knew you were cops."
The agent then started explaining what happened to the dispatcher.
"Everybody's showing badges and everything," he said. "And soon as we got in front of them they pulled up and tried to run over people."
Daly's charges were later dropped.
A witness also called 911, a few minutes later, saying he had seen "a gun being pulled at the Harris Teeter parking lot."
ABC officials say an initial review of the incident found no wrongdoing by the agents, but they are reviewing the case again.
Below are the transcriptions of two calls 911 operators. The first is from a woman in the vehicle being driven by Daly, the second call comes from a witness.
Call from passenger in car:
Caller: Hi, we have a problem in the Harris Teeter parking lot. We're surrounded by people. (screaming)
911: Somebody frightened?
Caller: Oh, my God! (screaming in background)
911: What's going on?
Caller: We don't know if they're real police officers or not and we're freaking out. Oh, my God. I'm so sorry. We're in the Harris Teeter --
911: Does somebody have a gun or something?
Caller: Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!
911: Alright, what's your name?
Caller: I'm ------- -----------------
911: Who's chasing you?
911: Who's chasing you?
Caller: We, ok. So we were surrounded by like six people and they started flashing, well, they were yelling at us and then we, like, didn't know if they were real police officers or not because they weren't in uniform and then they started holding up badges, but we didn't look at the badges because we were freaking out and so we started driving away. What should be do?
911: I would stop there, ok, because I think there actually are some ABC officials.
Caller: Ok, he said stop here. They are policemen. Can you crack the window?
911: (asking someone in room) Are there ABC agents there?
911: Are you out with them now?
Caller: Yes. What should we do?
911: Can I talk to one of them?
Caller: Yeah, can I , sir? (inaudible)
911: Hey this is 911, who are you guys with?
ABC: This is John Taylor with ABC.
911: Ok, that's what I, that's what I thought you might have been. They were really scared. I don't think they knew you were cops.
ABC: All right, well, everybody's showing badges and everything, and soon as we got in front of them they pulled up and tried to run over people.
ABC: That's enough, I appreciate it, thank you.
911: All right. Thanks.
Call from witness:
Caller: Hey, um, I was just a witness to a gun being pulled at the Harris Teeter parking lot on Barracks Road.
911: I'm sorry, you're a witness to what again?
Caller: A gun being pulled on somebody (inaudible) at Barracks Road.
911: Ok. You said it was in front of the Harris Teeter?
911: Ok. When did this happen?
Caller: About, I'd say 15, 20 minutes ago. Um, I'm really prone to panic attacks so I kind of drove away. It seemed as though there were undercover officers parked directly behind me.
Caller: And I kind of fled the scene as quickly as possible, I mean they're --
911: All right. Hold on. Hold on one second for me.
911: All right. I'm sorry about that. I'm working a radio as well. Um, let me ask the dispatcher one question. Hold on one second, ok?
911: Ok. Yeah we had units out there earlier, and it's about the same time frame that you're seeing, about 15, 20 minutes ago. But I'll take your name and number and I'll have one of them give you a phone call if that's ok.
Caller: Sure, that's fine.
911: Your name?
Caller: Is -------- --------------------
911: All right. And a phone number for you?
Caller: It's uh. I just got a new phone, sorry.
911: Is it ------------ --------------?
Caller: Yeah, that's the one.
911: Ok. All right. I'll put this information in and we'll have one of the officers give you a phone call.
Caller: Ok --
911: All right?
Caller: When can I expect to hear something?
911: Uh, I don't know. I can't give you a time frame because they're out on the street right now.
911: But as soon as one of them's available, we'll have them give you a call.
911: All right?
Caller: All right. Appreciate it.
911: Thanks. Bye.