911 Calls Released in Scuffle Between Anthonys and Protesters
By Walter Pacheco and Sarah Lundy | Sentinel Staff Writers
Posted 4:08 PM EDT, September 18, 2008
Lead investigator hospitalized after fall from motorcycle
4:08 p.m. The lead detective investigating the Caylee Anthony case was hospitalized overnight after breaking his leg.
Detective Yuri Melich, the investigator who told a judge in July that he believed Caylee Anthony was likely dead and her mother was the person of interest, was released this morning.
Melich was injured while completing re-certification training for the sheriff's office motors unit, according to a sheriff's spokesman.
Melich's injuries are not life threatening and will not hinder the investigation.
"John Allen is the supervisor and one of the lead investigators on this case who has basically been working side-by-side with Yuri since the beginning," said spokesman Jim Solomons of how the deputy's injuries will affect the case. "We'll miss [Yuri] but the case will continue to move forward."
Solomons anticipated that Melich would take some time off to heal, though the amount of time was unclear.
George and Cindy Anthony's attorney sounds off about protesters
Attorney Mark NeJame is out of town this afternoon but talked to the Orlando Sentinel about the protestors harassing his client.
"I have been extreme patient on their behalf attempting to allow our legal system to work. However, it is escalating to unacceptable and dangerous levels," Mark NeJame said when he was reached by phone. "A peaceful protest even if misguided - is protected under our Constitution. However, this has evolved into mob mentality and some individuals are now terrorizing George and Cindy."
"There is no rational basis for coming onto another person's' property banging at their house, throwing objects at the house and manhandling and accosting George and Cindy Anthony at 2 o'clock in the morning," he said. "This band of lawless instigators obviously cares nothing about justice as they are attempting to take the law into their own hands."
He said the public needs to let law enforcement and the court system address Casey Anthony. "Her parents need to be left alone," NeJame said.
When he returns to Orlando, he plans to meet with law enforcement officials Friday to talk about various issues, including the protesters.
"I have been contact with law enforcement who are very sensitive and aware of the situation," he said.
Sheriff's office releases 911 calls made during confrontation
1:33 p.m. In the first call placed shortly after midnight, Cindy Anthony tells the 911 operator that there are more than a dozen protesters gathered outside their home and throwing things at the house. She tells the operator that deputies need to get there before "something happens."
At 1:30 a.m., Casey Anthony calls the sheriff's office and tells the operator that the protesters returned to the house and that "they are banging on our garage door."
She tells the dispatch operator that "It's getting physical right now...This needs to get taken care of immediately," Casey said. "Both of my parents were hit by two of the protestors."
She also said, "This can't keep happening. These are the same punks that are out here all night throwing stuff at our house. "
Both Casey Anthony and her mother can be heard saying that WESH-Channel 2 has video of the fight outside their home. Casey Anthony also told the dispatch operator that their home surveillance cameras captured the fight.
Sheriff's deputies ready to increase presence in Anthonys' neighborhood
12:48 p.m. Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Solomons said deputies are "making adjustments" to the way they handle calls to the east Orange County neighborhood.
"We are making adjustments in our regular patrol function to what appears to be an escalating situation in that community," Solomons said of the violent confrontation that erupted this morning between the Anthonys and a handful of hecklers.
This is just nonsense," Solomons said. "I urge everyone to never
This is the second violent confrontation in less than a week.
A woman and her child shouted from the sidewalk and street at Cindy Anthony over the weekend. Anthony, who was hammering 'no trespassing' signs in her lawn, walked up to the woman and started arguing with her on the street.
A small boy who had accompanied the protester injured his arm when the protester fell back on the car door, pinning his arm to the car.
The Department of Children and Families is investigating that incident for possible child abuse charges.
The Anthonys' neighborhood needs the injunction, attorney said. 12:30 p.m. The attorney representing the homeowners association said the violence outside the Anthonys' home this morning is proof that the injunction needs to be granted as soon as possible.
Karen Wonsetler, who represents the 127 members of the Chickasaw Oaks Phase Three homeowners association, said the violence has gone too far and residents in the east Orange County community are in danger.
"I've asked the residents to stay in their homes when something breaks out and not get drawn in," Wonsetler said.
Wonsetler also has asked attorney Mark NeJame to tell his clients, George and Cindy Anthony, not to hold any prayer vigils outside their Hopespring Drive home because "it invites confrontation."
Deputies looking to ID protesters
10:06 a.m. A group of protesters who taunted George Anthony early this morning could face charges if deputies can identify them. Investigators will be reviewing video taken by news crews out at the house overnight.
"We are very interested in those videos," said spokesman Jim Solomons. "Clearly you can see a scuffle."
Solomons said the protesters could face possible battery charges.
Protesters' threats overnight provoke violent reaction from the Anthonys
7 a.m. A handful of protesters stood outside the Anthony's Hopespring Drive home shortly after midnight and taunted the residents by tossing pennies at the front doors and windows, deputies said.
The Anthonys called 911 to report the incident, but the protesters were gone by the time deputies arrived. Orange County Cmdr. Rick Luckey said George Anthony had exchanged "some words" with the protesters, while Cindy Anthony wrote down tag numbers.
"They are throwing rocks at my home...I want an officer out there right away please, before my husband goes out and something happens," Cindy Anthony told the 911 operator. "I'm trying to keep him inside."
The protesters returned sometime before 1:30 a.m. They walked on to the Anthonys' property and started banging on the garage door, reports show.
George Anthony walked out of the garage and confronted one of the protesters in a face-to-face shouting match. "At some point, a protester grabbed George Anthony's arm," Luckey said.
Sheriff's office spokesman Jim Solomons said Casey Anthony -- the mother of missing 3-year-old Caylee Marie -- placed a second 911 call to the sheriff's office, telling the dispatch operator that her parents had been struck by the protestors.
News cameras captured a female protester grabbing George Anthony's T-shirt and pulling him toward the sidewalk. Cindy Anthony ran outside with an aluminum baseball bat and wedged herself between her husband and the protesters.
The female protester let go. George Anthony told the protesters to leave his property and when they refused, he grabbed the garden hose and began dousing them with water. When deputies arrived a second time, the protesters had already left the neighborhood.
Luckey said the protesters could have charges filed against them because they were the primary aggressors.
"[George Anthony] has the right to protect himself and his property," Luckey said. "He doesn't know what the protesters' intentions are or what they are trying to do."
Solomons said the incidents are under investigation and that no arrests have been made this morning.
Source: Orlando Sentinel