Home / Badge Abuse / Sheriff Hailed Cops as Heroes, But Dashcam Shows them Listen to 3 Girls Scream as they Drowned

Sheriff Hailed Cops as Heroes, But Dashcam Shows them Listen to 3 Girls Scream as they Drowned

St. Petersburg, FL – Newly released dash cam footage reveals a Florida sheriff lied last month when he falsely claimed that his deputies took off their gun belts and attempted to save three drowning teenage girls. Instead of attempting to rescue the dying teens, the deputies can be seen on video standing beside the pond while listening to the girls’ final screams.

According to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, a friend asked 35-year-old Damien Marriott to drive the three teenage girls to Child’s Park on Wednesday, March 30. For some reason, Marriott reportedly stopped at a Walmart to buy a TV when he left his keys in the ignition with the engine running along with three girls that he did not know sitting in his 1990 Honda Accord. Although Child’s Park closes at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Marriott did not return to his vehicle or report his car stolen until 8:30 p.m. that night.

Several hours later, deputies reported seeing the Honda run a red light without its headlights on during a pursuit. Entering the back of a cemetery, the girls accidentally drove the Honda into a pond as deputies exited their vehicles and remained standing on shore.

While the Honda submerged into the swamp, a recently released police dash cam video recorded a deputy exclaiming, “I hear them yelling, I think!”

As the video moves forward another deputy can be heard saying, “They’re done. They are 6-7, dude.”

“They were yelling,” a deputy responds. “I thought I heard yelling.”

“As it was going down,” the other deputy interjects. “But now, they’re done. They’re done.”

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Although Sheriff Gualtieri announced at a press conference that his deputies flung off their gun belts and dove into the swamp in a failed attempt to save the teenage girls, police dash cam video actually shows the deputies standing near the shore listening to the girls scream to death.

Two hours later, a tow truck pulled out a vehicle containing the deceased bodies of 16-year-old Dominique Battle from St. Petersburg High School, 15-year-old Ashaunti Butler from Dixie Hollins High, and 15-year-old Laniya Miller from Gibbs High.

“My daughter was not perfect,” Miller’s mother, Natasha Winkler, recently told ABC Action News through tears. “What 15-year-old is?”

Despite the fact that the sheriff initially released false information and his deputies likely provided false reports claiming they tore off their gun belts and dove into the murky water to save the dying teen girls, no criminal charges have been filed against any of the deceitful deputies. Caught on police dash cam video, the deputies clearly falsified their reports after standing around while callously listening to the drowning girls die.

Andrew Emett is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, Activist Post, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.

  • Jodie

    I usually defend cops but not this time! this is sorry just to stand
    there and watch 3 people drown and not even attempt to save them. What
    kind of HUMAN instincts is that???
    Even if i thought i couldn’t save them I’d still at lest get in the water and swim out there cause it’s a natural instinct.
    Jesus Christ , you should see what people are saying on “us herald . com”

    people on the comment section are saying the most awful things: they
    are talking real bad about the girls and it’s pissing me off…Yea like
    they’re kids are perfect or something.
    Sure , I know they stole a
    car and that’s wrong but that don’t mean they deserve to die. Just think
    if you had a son/daughter that stole a pickup/car and ran from police
    and got killed!My kids aren’t perfect ,no ones kids are perfect. Those
    YOUNG teens life so short i just dont see how anyone could stand there
    and watch them go down and do nothing to help.

    No way in he11 i’ll even try to defend these cops. THEY WERE WRONG.

    • Dale Pres

      Freethoughtproject, my butt. My comment about cops being only the armed enforcement branch of an out of control government was deleted even though 5 people had marked it with likes. Free thought as long as you follow the agenda, I guess.

    • DenisetheCelt

      NO. You are WRONG. Why should those cops risk their lives for that vermin? The waters were croc infested, and it was night time, Those morons stole the car, ran from cops, and crashed. They were too stupid and inept to even get out be themselves. Too bad. Darwinian Nature is harsh – but JUST. Sometimes you only get one chance. If your kids are STUPID enough to behave like these idiots – then too bad for them. The world is infested with REALLY stupid creatures, that do nothing but wreak havoc. The cops were correct – those idiots weren’t worth risking their lives. So shut up and go to live among the Dindu’s you simpering fool.

      • F Burns

        #grossasfuck #sociopathyinwhite #nastyassbitch

        • Ssgt_Flyer

          And drive into a lake 🙁 forgot to add that. What happens when you do stupid things sometimes no one will save you from yourself.

          • Baronskippy

            Even if they’re standing right there listening to you die. I didn’t realize that all pigs died on contact with water. If I had to guess I’d say you’re one of those sick fucks that would stand there while somebody screams for help, probably stroking your cock or something fucked up, that’s the only reason I can come up with that you’re making excuses for the inexcusable.

          • Ssgt_Flyer

            I know I wouldn’t go diving in a lake to save some idiots sorry to say. Especially at night shrug call me crazy but guess what these cops tried and risk was not worth it.

          • Jonathon N Shannon Prevost

            thats the difference between you and a cop. You’re not permitted to serve and protect, cops are, regardless of what the people did. It’s why most officers will begin CPR or first-aid after they see an assaillant hurt themselves or (less than most times) when they shoot the assailants.

          • TSgt_Flyer

            Also if they felt they were unable to save the girls in the car why give up your life in a mundane attempt. They tried and were unable to, had the girls been smarter they be alive was only due to their own stupid actions they all died.

          • LC

            They didnt try thats why they are in hot water because they said they did and they didnt.

          • LC

            They didnt try anything they stood there and did nothing. Their job is to protect and serve and if you cant do the job you signed up for then quit.

          • TSgt_Flyer

            Not when their life is in danger. Many do put their life in dangers way but they made a decision and have to live with it the rest of their lives. They felt the risk was too much and that is their right, Nothing forces them to do it all a judgment call.

          • F Burns

            Except, doing something dumb isn’t always a guarantee of death. Take participants of Jackass type stunts–nature could sentence them on the spot. Nature could have killed those girls, and it did; however, there were people capable of rescue and detaination. What we had here was a human element–we had cops sit around, vengefully playing god with the lives of THREE Black girls over a hunk of metal on wheels. We have numerous posters here agreeing that the death penalty for Black girls should be set extremely low. This is NOT a new mindset. In the case of Trayvon Martin, MANY non-Blacks (most White and definitely NOT trolling) decided that having a little bit of weed (which almost any teenager may have tried on and off) was automatic death penalty by a pretend cop (George Zimmerman). The bloodthirst that you all exhibit is quite telling and it should be questioned why the bar for the death penalty is set so low…

          • TSgt_Flyer

            Yet unfortunately it does when you drive into lakes and attack violent people like Zimmerman, sometimes you take a risk and no one is their to bail you out. Sorry I would say this no matter who they were even the jackass stunts go bad and if someone died it be their own fault. Hard enough to stay alive than to keep tempting fate.

      • Tony Crimson Chin

        There aren’t crocodiles in Florida. Just alligators. Gald you brought up that point, however, they did actually enter the water. They had a dive team member (subject matter expert) on site who judged the conditions to be too dangerous.

    • I’ve seen these types of comments on other articles like this as well. Things such as You should have known better. There was signs it was a flooded road. Called her all kinds of names & on & on. For crying out loud, they are someone’s daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt

      • Jodie


  • judy e

    they edited the footage. cops DID try to get in the water, did you see the murky plant filled sides of that pond? they DID try. And if they didnt? I wouldnt blame them. at all. it is a tragic situation caused by teens with no real supervision. Did you hear the excuses? gramma says it isnt “stealing” if he left the car running and the keys in it. these girls didnt stand a chance. ONe did, imo, but she made the mistake of hanging out with the other 2. you simply cannot blame the cops.

    • Baronskippy

      Yeah I can. Cops are pussies. I’ve seen not only many occasions of them not rescuing people but also of arresting people that did act to save the person I’d imagine as some tactic to absolve themselves of being worthless shit.

      • unityconsciousness

        all cops? or just the bad ones? you could be a cop, your father and mother could’ve been cops, maybe one of them was a cop, I don’t know. This was a tragic event, but to say all cops are cowards? Wrong choice of words.. plenty of cops are brave human beings.

        • Baronskippy

          Sure, brave human beings that tolerate scum being held on the same level. The fact that any cop that tries to hold the bad ones accountable gets fired is proof enough. Also I would notice if myself or anybody in my family was a cop idiot.

          • unityconsciousness

            I bet the closest you get to the “real world” is on the internet.. you sure sound oblivious, and delusional.. what a slanted view on reality you have

          • Baronskippy

            Oh no, I’ve been insulted by a fucking moron, WHAT DO I DO NOW!!!

            Must be time to panic, either that or I’ll give just enough of a shit to mock you and proceed to not give a fuck.

          • unityconsciousness

            Not insulting you, just trying to help you gain some self-Awareness.

          • Baronskippy

            Don’t pretend to know what self awareness is.

          • unityconsciousness

            Oh, you mean.. Conscious knowledge and awareness of your own personality or character.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    Those 3 criminals just won a Darwin award. No one’s fault except their own and their families.

    • John

      Here is more footage, I know the first video was taken down from this post.
      I guess learn to swim if you are going to drive your stolen car into a pond! Nice to see the Sheriff stand up for his guys!


      • Baronskippy

        This is why it’s funny when I hear about pigs being murdered to make me bacon.

  • Brian Schreck

    Wow this got buried quick, video taken down and everything. Most people should know if you roll the windows down/ break them, its much easier to escape a flooding car. These teens must not have known that unfortunately, that would be something that adults should know. Its cool though, just lie about trying to help them and chalk it up as a loss. When you don’t know the whole situation, how do you sit there and judge when maybe someone drove them into the lake and ditched the car, but we will never know now. Police are a useless expenditure of our tax dollars and are not necessary anymore in the year 2016. Our prison population is unacceptable in this day in age, mostly non-violent crimes, its a fucking racket and people realize it now.

    • You can look it up on YouTube. I didn’t hear anything except a dog barking but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they weren’t yelling.

  • Argon Lazarus


  • Tony Crimson Chin

    Just throwing it out there. This was Florida…you know, that state that has over 1 million alligators in ponds, rivers, and suburban pools? The cops jumped into “murky, muddy water” with no regard for the possible alligators that could have chomped on them the same way that baby was killed in Disney World. Oh yeah, and FTP is part of the “narrative” the sheriff discussed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZkDSXmhQe0

  • Robert States

    they wont be shooting any cops now, will they….?….


    Jews are incapable of telling the truth:


  • LC

    The thing is you can argue what degree and limits are to protect and serve. But to hear them speak in such a manner as to the total disregard of human life even if they were a bunch of teens on a joy ride and the manner in which they spoke about it is deplorable. Even if I knew I could do nothing to save them. I would not have spoken so cavalier about people screaming and dying right in front of me.