A University of Virginia student is suing the state after being charged last year with assaulting ABC agents. Virginia ABC is a state agency that enforces ABC laws and controlling the distribution of alcoholic beverages.
The ABC officers had attempted to stop the girl, Elizabeth K. Daly, now 21, for what they believed was underage possession of alcohol. There was only one problem: she didn’t have any alcohol.
What the officers saw was actually sparkling water. But before the police realize their mistake, they had harassed, intimidated, drawn and aimed guns at Daly and – finally – smashed her car window and arrested her. Now she is suing the State of Virginia and seven agents for $40 million.
Why didn’t Daly just do what the officers said? Daly explains that the ABC officers were in plainclothes. They surrounded her car and banged on the windows ordering her to roll them down. That was the last thing she felt safe doing. Remember, she had done absolutely nothing wrong.
That’s when one of the plainclothes officers drew a gun and another jumped on the car hood. She then pulled out, trying to get away from what seemed like maniacs claiming to be law enforcement officers.
The agents identified themselves, but without uniform and without any probable cause, their story sounded fabricated. They claimed they saw her buying alcohol, but she knew very well that she had not bought any. To her this sounded like a way for these men to trick her into rolling down her window and being abducted by them.
The 47-page suit, filed Tuesday in Richmond Circuit Court, accuses the officers and state of malicious prosecution, failure to train ABC agents appropriately, as well as six counts of assault and battery.
The suit states that Daly, of Henrico County, “does not and never has consumed alcohol or abused drugs, and/or her parents, on her behalf, have incurred significant legal, medical and other costs, and will continue to do so in the future due to the malicious, intentional, and/or grossly negligent actions of the (d)efendants.”
The suit further explains that she now has a tremor in her right hand, intense anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems. All of these stem from the April 11 attack by the plainclothes agents, the suit alleges.
The suit further alleges that the ABC released an investigation of its own, and concluded that two agents violated policy concerning the drawn weapon and striking the passenger window with a flashlight.
“The agents acted with actual malice, out of embarrassment and disgrace for their own intentional and grossly negligent acts and charged (Daly) with three felonies and did so out of anger and personal spite.”
(Article by M.B. David)