Problem Solvers


Sources say girl in Church Hill incident was on medication, not drunk

Posted at 2:05 PM, Mar 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-07 14:06:00-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) —Six days have passed since an incident in Church Hill was caught on tape that captured what witnesses said is a woman using a police connection to escape penalty after she allegedly ran two stop signs in Church Hill.

Police are still investigating and won't say much.

The video was filmed early Sunday morning by Immanuel Kent, as he stood outside with his roommates in the 3000 block of E. Broad Street. The group had already been called outside after a drunk driver, who was arrested, hit several vehicles, including one owned by S. Preston Duncan.

Duncan said that the woman driving a silver Fiat, whose license plate we will not identify because the person has not been charged with a crime, nearly hit several people.

“The oncoming vehicle slammed on its brakes, swerved around the damaged vehicles, nearly hitting the cop car (lights still blaring), and is forced to a stop, right where we had all been standing, by one of the officers tending to the accident,” Duncan wrote in a post that has been shared numerous times on the Richmond Police Department’s Facebook page. 

The group began recording towards the end of the incident, when a truck pulled up and a man and woman exited. You can read details on what happened before the man she called dad arrived, according to witnesses.

The couple that arrived put the girl originally driving the Fiat into the truck and another woman drove off in the Fiat. You can see much of this happening in the video.

We tracked down the man in the yellow sweatshirt, and the driver of the car. The man in the yellow sweatshirt had told Kent to “Cut the camera off, son.”

Since no one has been charged with any crimes, we won’t tell you their names. Police sources have confirmed the identities and we have visually confirmed the vehicle and the driver.  We have seen the vehicle parked outside the owner’s place of employment.

We went by their residences and the man who answered the door--seen in yellow in the video--did not want to talk. He slammed the door in our face.

Records indicate this man is not currently an officer. His father, based on online records, appears to have been a Richmond Police officer.

Business records indicate he is a contractor. The truck that witnesses say he drove at the scene in was parked outside.

Richmond Police have confirmed the man in the yellow sweatshirt is not a Richmond police officer.

On Monday the Richmond Police Department announced they were opening an internal investigation, as dozens and dozens of people took to social media to voice their outrage of the event.

We’re continuing to ask Richmond Police where that investigation stands, and if the officer on scene faces any charges.  We're asking if the driver was drunk and if a breathalyzer was given and if not, why not.

Multiple police sources said the driver was not drunk, but on medication. They said she was acting hysterically after picking her boyfriend up from a downtown bar. Sources also said that the boyfriend asked if they could call her family for the ride home.

Police sources said that the woman was not drunk but the officer didn't believe either her or her boyfriend were in condition to keep driving.

Former Chesterfield Police Captain, Steve Neal said that while witnesses have one account, it may not be what it seems on the surface.

Neal added that perhaps the officer on scene did know the driver, and the man picking her up, but he added that officers are charged with using their own discretion and sometimes, arresting a person might not always be the best option.

CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone said that "eyewitness testimony is notoriously inaccurate," and pointed out that the video supports part of what eyewitnesses said, but not the whole picture.

The witnesses have said that no backup officers ever showed up to the scene. That would mean there were no other law enforcement witnesses.

Duncan and his roommates are perplexed and said they would have been hit and likely injured if they had not jumped to the sidewalk.

“I mean, if it had been any one of us, we would have been led off in handcuffs,” Duncan said.

Stone said it’s too late for any DUI-related charge, but he added the woman could still be charged with reckless driving or failing to stop at a stop sign.

Anyone with any information about this incident was asked to call 804-646-6816.