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03 Oct 2012

911 Recordings Disprove Police Reports/Disorderly Conduct Charge Dropped

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CEJ was arrested on April 10, 2008, at approximately 9:30 P.M. The arrest affidavit alleged that Deputy Hayford was responding to Ocean Resorts, an RV community on A1A south of Vero Beach, in connection with a “domestic dispute”. Dep. Hayford’s affidavit stated that 911 received “several other calls indicating a female was in the roadway “yelling and screaming at a male later identified as her husband”. Dep. Hayford, in his arrest affidavit, went on to state that he could “clearly hear the female yelling and screaming…[from] approximately 300 yards away”. Upon arriving at the scene, Dep. Hayford said he observed the defendant in the roadway “yelling” and “visibly upset”. Defendant’s husband had called 911, but told the Deputy that he “didn’t mind her being there”. Based upon these circumstances, Dep. Hayford arrested defendant and gave her a free ride to the “cross bar Hilton”.

Needless to say, the defendant was not a happy camper. To fight the charges, she retained Jeffrey H. Garland, who immediately requested all 911 recordings and computer printouts.

The 911 recordings did not reflect the information one might have expected after reviewing Dep. Hayford’s arrest affidavit. The recordings, in fact, contradicted the arrest affidavit and probably resulted in all charges being dropped.

There were two calls to 911. The first call was from defendant’s husband. He only reported that he was having “trouble” with his wife. Although a woman can be heard chattering in the background, the recording plainly shows that she was not screaming or yelling.

The second call was received from “Earl Smith”, who described “screaming and yelling”, but did not observe evidence of fighting or hitting.

The recorded radio communications established that Dep. Hayford was not the only Deputy on the scene. Dep. Hayford arrived “on scene” at approximately 9:09 P.M. Dep. Caglioni arrived on scene approximately five minutes later at 9:14 P.M. The radio transmissions from Dep. Hayfor show that, upon his arrival, he found no situation, either at the reported scene or as he passed through the RV park en route to the reported scene.

Some five minutes later, Dep. Caglioni radioed that he had found the incident. These radio transmissions conclusively demonstrated that Dep. Hayford did not hear any hollering or screaming upon his entry into the RV park and found nothing when he went to the reported scene. The actual evidence contradicted the allegation in the arrest affidavit that a female, yelling and screaming, could be heard from “approximately 300 yards away”. Revealingly, Dep. Hayford made a radio transmission that people at the reported scene “have no clue what is going on. It is highly unlikely that Dep. Hayford could interview people at the reporting address who have “no clue” what is going on if he was clearly hearing a female screaming from 300 yards away.

In light of these circumstances, the defendant announced ready for trial. On the day jury trial was scheduled, the State elected to drop all charges.

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