Charges Dropped Against UVA Student Involved in ABC Altercation
A trip to the grocery store to buy cookie dough, ice cream and sparkling water landed one University of Virginia student a night in jail. A chaotic incident ensued after Alcoholic Beverage Control agents thought the water was beer.
Elizabeth Daly, 20, was arrested on the night of April 11 for assault and battery on two law enforcement officers and eluding police. Those felony charges against her were dropped Thursday - after Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman stated, "...this is a unique situation in which no purpose is served by prosecuting Ms. Daly for the offenses with which she is charged."
Daly says she and two roommates were grabbing groceries at the Harris Teeter at Barracks Road Shopping Center when they were approached by a group of people in plainclothes.
According to a court filing by Chapman, those people were Alcoholic Beverage Control agents, who thought the woman was carrying beer - but it turned out it was a case of sparkling water. The agents say the women panicked, sped off, and hit two of them.
The defendant paints a very different situation.
Daly says in a statement obtained by NBC29 Friday that the officers were showing unidentifiable badges and scared them. She had planned to talk to them through the window, but that required starting the car. This caused the officers to react , and one of them even drew a gun.
The women did start to drive away and called 911. The operator eventually confirmed the officers were legitimate and Daly was arrested.
Read Daly's full statement on the incident here.
ABC provided a statement on the incident, as well. Read it in full below:
"Agents were working in the area, concentrating on underage possession enforcement. An agent observed what appeared to be an underage person in possession of what appeared to be a case of beer, and approached her to investigate. The agent identified herself as a police officer and was displaying her badge. Other agents did not join the incident until the subject refused to cooperate. Rather than comply with the officers' requests, the subject drove off, striking two officers. She was not arrested for possessing bottled water, but for running from police and striking two of them with a vehicle.
The agents were acting upon reasonable suspicion and this whole unfortunate incident could have been avoided had the occupants complied with law enforcement requests. We take all citizen complaints seriously and the matter is currently under review by the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement."