When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.
That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.
A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.
They were carrying this stuff.What kind of an idiot mistakes that for beer? Since when did carrying beer, even if you’re underage, even warrant having a gang of plain clothes officers drawing their guns, jumping on your car and then charging you with felonies for reacting as any reasonable person would react?
I buy this stuff, or the coconut and lime versions of it, which are delicious. The 80s vintage girly looking labeling and marketing put me off trying it for a while, but it’s good stuff, and I avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup like it’s poison, mostly because it is in fact poison. So I drink LaCroix, Topo Chico, Perrier, etc. Never thought buying sparkling water could become a life-changing and life-threatening experience. Who knew?
Given the officers’ actions, anyone would have thought they were under attack, not under arrest. It’s fortunate that this didn’t happen in Texas, where every crowd of any size always includes someone with a concealed firearm. There could have been a gun battle over French-sounding sparkling water (it’s actually bottled in Wisconsin). It’s also fortunate that none of those idiot officers discharged their firearm in the heat of the moment and killed someone. They definitely need to be fired. They’re a menace as long as they’re carrying a gun.