Charges may be dismissed ‘dependent on good behavior’
By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report
Honey, I’ll get the keys, you get the gun
A 2006 Audi that got alleged White House State Dinner crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi an expired state inspection ticket Friday caused even more headaches for the couple last year.
Documents show that Tareq Salahi was charged in 2008 with petit larceny for taking the keys of a tow truck driver who was sent to repossess the car because Salahi was behind on payments.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Warren County General District Court, Edward R. Beal, then of L & K Recovery in Centerville, VA, pulled up to the Salahi’s Linden, VA home on August 14, 2008 and hooked the Audi up when Tareq and Michaele came out of the home and argued with Beal. Beal said Mr. Salahi told his wife to “get the gun.” Beal said that he ran down the driveway to call police and Mr. Salahi took the keys out of the tow truck and the couple then ran into the house and shut the garage door.
Beal said he was afraid. “I felt trapped. I couldn’t leave. I had to run and get away from him. He literally screamed at his wife. He yelled ‘Get the gun, get the gun.’ She didn’t go at first but then he screamed ‘Get the gun. Get the gun now! I said now!'”
He said, she said
A county dispatch call log says that Michaele Salahi called 911 a few minutes after the driver called to report that the driver had assaulted her husband.
But in a typed supplemental filed with the court, Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Phillips said that Mr. Salahi claimed that the driver had assaulted his wife.
“During a conversation with Mr. Salahi after the incident was over I explained to Mr. Salahi that I did not appreciate him not telling us the truth when he calls us to his house and he asked if I was calling him a liar. I said I guess I am,” read Deputy Phillips’ statement.
Deputy Phillips said that Tareq Salahi made a payment over the phone but that the loan officer told deputies that the tow driver could still take the car if he wished. Deputies told the driver that the car would have to remain at the home due to a “breach of peace” and advised the Salahis and the driver that they could “seek the services of the magistrate” for actions that occurred before the deputies’ arrival.
A repossession order for the vehicle shows that it was titled to Oasis Enterprises Inc. and was $5,579.88 behind in payments. The document showed the balance due to be $57,646.22 with a monthly payment of $1,771.39.
Hard to prove
On October 28th, the case was continued with the commonwealth and Salahi’s attorney agreeing that the case would be dismissed with no finding of guilt and no costs assessed “dependent on the good behavior” of Mr. Salahi through April 28th.
Warren County Commonwealth Attorney Brian Madden said that good behavior meant no criminal charges filed for acts committed during the six months the case is being continued.
In an interview with Warren County Report, Beal said he completely disagreed with the decision to dismiss the charges. But Madden said there were problems with proving the case since the commonwealth would have to establish that Salahi intended to steal or permanently deprive Beal of the keys. Madden also said that if Mr. Beal had an issue with the decision to dismiss for good behavior it was news to him since he had never expressed it with anyone in his office.
No gun was produced during the incident.
Front Royal attorney Jerry Talton, who represented Mr. Salahi in the incident, declined to comment.
The Salahis may be issued a subpoena tomorrow to appear before congress to testify about their alleged crashing of the White House State Dinner Nov. 24th. Their attorney’s in that case told Bloomberg News that they will refuse to testify if forced to appear.
Dan McDermott: firstname.lastname@example.org