Teen Thieves Died After A Botched Carjacking, And Their Parents Are Stealing The Police…


Three teenage girls were killed after a stolen car they were in drove into a pond in Florida, authorities say.

Dominique Battle, age 16, Ashaunti Butler, age 15, and Laniya Miller, age 15, were found dead inside a car that drove into a pond on the morning of Thursday, March 31. The sheriff’s office said the Honda Accord was reported stolen in St. Petersburg the night before. The sheriff’s office also said the owner of the car was giving the girls a ride. When he got out to briefly go into Walmart, they took off, according to law enforcement.

According to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, deputies spotted the car driving without headlines early Thursday morning and tried to stop it. The driver fled, eventually running a red light.

Gualtieri says the driver apparently missed a sharp turn and went into the water near a St. Petersburg cemetery.

“What we believe is that the driver thought they could get to the interstate and then get away,” Gualtieri said during a news conference steps away from the edge of the pond. “They accelerated and went into the pond.”

After the car hit the pond it sank about 15 feet. Gualtieri said two deputies took off their gun belts and uniforms and tried to find the victims.

Sheriff Gualtieri stood behind his deputies and assured the people of Tampa, Florida, that his officers did everything by the book after allegations that his officers did not help the drowning teenagers.

However, the parents became even more furious after the police department released the officers’ dash camera footage. The video evidence showed that the responding police officers did not make much of an effort to save the lives of the people in the sinking stolen vehicle even though they were at risk of drowning.

“We are in the process of reviewing everything,” the teens’ lawyer, Will Anderson, told ABC News. “In my opinion, this has been a rush to judgment. In my opinion, this has been a smear campaign.”

According to AWM:

Meanwhile, Sheriff Gualtieri wanted people to know that he thought what they did was the right thing to do even though three teenagers died because of their lack of action.

“I’m not going to stand by and let these people cast a false narrative,” he said. “They’re reaching, and they want to be spin masters.”

According to the Sheriff, the pond was “thick with sludge” and was very difficult for the officers to safely enter.

Now, an attorney representing two of the deceased teens, Michele Whitfield, believes that the officers’ dashboard camera footage was not favorable and that “there are more questions that need to be answered.”

“I just feel like, at this point, the Sheriff is giving an appearance of transparency,” she told the Tampa Bay Times. “There are still some documents that I am waiting for.

Dashboard camera footage from the incident shows police officers doing nothing as the Honda sinks into the pond. Instead of trying to rescue the three teenagers trapped inside, the officers mill about and chat amongst themselves.

“It’s going all the way down. It’s almost fully submerged,” one deputy said in the clip. I hear them yelling, I think!”

“They’re done. They’re done. They are sig seven, dude,” another Tampa officer added, referring to the radio code for “dead person.”

Meanwhile, the sheriff claims that the officers did everything in their power to save the lives of the dying teenage girls. “Just because it’s not on cam doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” Sheriff Gualtieri said.

Watch the video report below for more details:

Evidence footage of the incident: 

Sources: AWM, ABC News