ABC review concludes agents violated policy in sparkling water case

Posted at 11:27 PM, Nov 07, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WTVR)–The Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stated, in a release, sent out Thursday that two of its agents violated department policy during an April incident where a University of Virginia student was arrested after buying water that was mistaken for alcohol.

ABC sent out a media release on Thursday, stating that the agency has determined that the agents on the scene should not have un-holstered their firearms and should not have tried to break out the window of the student’s car with a flashlight.

The statement from ABC reads as follows:

“ABC deeply regrets this terribly unfortunate incident, which we know has resulted in anguish and concern not only for those immediately involved, but for the community at large,” said ABC Board Chairman J. Neal Insley. “We apologize to the young women, their families and the Charlottesville community. Although we reserved comment while the State Police conducted their independent investigation, don’t mistake our silence for a lack of concern or a lack of action.”

The Charlottesville Circuit Court issued an expungement order that prohibits ABC from discussing details of the event or the investigation. The expungement order requires that all police records relating to the incident be sealed.

The ABC agents were conducting a sting at the Harris Teeter in Charlottesville, trying to find underage buyers of alcohol, when agents swarmed three UVa students who had bought a 12-pack of sparkling La Croix water, which agents mistook for beer.

[LISTEN: 911 call released in ABC arrest of UVa. student]