Wednesday, February 3, 2016

**UPDATED** What We Learned From The Police Reports on Vasi's Hit and Run


Now that we've had time to digest the detail of the police reports, here are some highlights we've found:

1. It was definitely a hit-and-run

Early newspaper accounts of Vasi's accident were unclear whether he was actually struck by a vehicle or if he fell from a moving vehicle or was mugged. The investigator's notes references broken glass and paint chips, all but confirming that he was indeed struck by a passing vehicle. It's possible he was dragged for a significant distance.

2. The woman who reported the accident was not Maura.

The "reporting woman" was identified as being 20 years old. Maura was almost 22 at the time of her disappearance. This woman found Vasi lying in the street and stopped her car so nobody else could hit him. Her vehicle showed no signs of damage.

3. The glass might prove it wasn't Maura's car that struck Vasi (or maybe it doesn't) Probably does.

As "KF" noted earlier today, the fact that glass was found on Vasi's clothes suggests it probably wasn't Maura's car that struck him. Other than the spider crack on Maura's windshield, there was no broken glass associated with the Saturn. Unless... unless she replaced a headlight. And goddamn it as I'm writing this, are there not spare headlights listed as being found in her car? How common is it to always carry around spare headlights?

*UPDATE*
As one reader pointed out, if it was a shattered headlight, it would be plastic shards they found on Vasi, not glass. Also, it doesn't look like the paint chips match. They were red, white, and metallic silver.

4. No skid marks

Who ever hit Vasi didn't slow down -- unless he was moved from the scene of the accident.

5. Vasi was left alone and intoxicated by his friends.

Prior to the accident, after a night of drinking at Monkey Bar, Barselloti's, and Delano's, Vasi's friends propped him up on a railing outside Bart's Ice Cream and left him there around midnight. Nice guys. It was damn cold and snowy that evening, too. Remember, classes were canceled the next morning, Friday.

6. None of Vasi's friends are directly linked to Maura, so far as we know.

His friends are identified in the reports, if you look closely. None of them are names known to me as Maura's friends or teammates.

7. The Amherst police had an opportunity to help Vasi and didn't take it.

At one point in the evening, 5-6 policemen found Vasi very inebriated sitting in front of the ice cream shop. They did not take him for public drunkeness or make sure he had a safe way home. If you ask me, this is why it took so long to get these damned reports. This case is ripe for a civil suit.

**UPDATE**
I have seen an unredacted copy of the forensics report. The paint chips found on Vasi's clothes had "red, white, and metallic silver layers."


** If you have any information about the person responsible for Petrit Vasi's hit and run accident, please contact Amherst Police, Vasi himself, or this blog. **

34 comments:

  1. I would pass the report on to the NHCCU and see if they are inclined to find out if the paint chips might match.

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    1. Re. the paint chips — I owned a Saturn of the same model and vintage as Maura's. That thing, including the front bumper, was made of molded plastic. No paint. My own front end collision resulted in a slight dent and a small crack. No paint chips or plastic shards.

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  2. Yep. There was a lightbulb in the car.

    I hail from Detroit. Having a car and/or driving has always been a necessity here (we have very limited public transportation available) and we have some of the worst roads in the country....I've never met anyone that has a spare lightbulb in the car. Ibe never even heard it mentioned.

    Was it a two pack with one missing? Or perhaps they fixed it a different way and didn't end up needing the bulb...?

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  3. Not uncommon to have a spare light bulb, Often only one bulb goes out and they come in package of 2. It should be fairly simple to determine if the paint and glass found at scene was from the Saturn. That should be the highest priority now. Could rule Maura in or out fairly quickly. Where is the Saturn now? If it is a match, we are still no closer to finding Maura. Just my explain the reason she fled. However, was she fleeing to commit suicide or to start new life? Was she interrupted from this plan an foul play/homicide is involved?

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  4. Glass cannot be from broken headlamp. Lamp casings are plastic and the report says it was safety glass. Glass from the bulb is not safety glads. Maura's car wad not involved.

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    1. I didn't read anything about it being safety glass. "Several small shards" is what it says verbatim.

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    2. This ^

      Without any breaking of the windows or rearview mirrors in her car, likely wasn't her car

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    3. Some headlights are glass, the ones that include the bulb.

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  5. theory.. Maura knew someone at Dominos. A delivery driver maybe.. she loans them her car while she is working.. in exchange for credit card numbers? Late night calls to Dominos could be " when are you bringing me back my car?".. then one night the unthinkable happens. Someone hits Vasi in her car.. freaks her out.. life is tough at this point.. but someone else has made it worse.. her car.. vasi.. it all is crumbling..

    thoughts?

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    1. Good, but why not just report the guy at Domino's?

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    2. Hmmm...using a stolen credit card later on at the same place from where it was stolen? My gut response is such would be too risky for someone as crafty as Maura.

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    3. It's pretty obvious at this point that it wasn't Maura's car.

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    4. That could be a possibility.

      Whoever is this mystery person at Dominos is, they sure could shine a lot on this case.

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    5. We are assuming Maura drove only one car,(Fred's actually).

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  6. As far as the light bulbs go, they usually come two or four to a package so if she only needed one that's not unusual.

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  7. The report eliminates this angle, that's good. Now only 250 to go!

    The amazing thing is you received an unredacted report. AMAZING. This is a sign MA has let go of this case.

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  8. I'm not so sure I'd leave a friend who is clearly intoxicated sitting on some steps by them self. It doesn't seem like Vasi knew these friends very well.
    The police should of helped Vasi, either by taking him home or to the drunk tank to sober up.

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  9. What kind of car did Kate and Sara have?
    Did Vasi have cuts on him from glass? Perhaps he didn't break the glass all the way when he hit.
    My grandma once hit a pedastrain who walked right in front of her on a busy highway and the windshield glass didn't break all the way. His elbow went into the windshield glass, causing it to spider crack with an indention in the glass, where the elbow had went into it.

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  10. I don't think this report rules Maura out at all. Think about where the accident occured: Massachusetts. Cars last typically no more than 10 years in the weather conditions in New England. Many cars are so full of rust and flaking paint chips. If you were drug by a car any distance on a typical road there, of course you will have a paint chip or two on your clothing! This does not rule Maura out at all. The glass shards as mentioned in the forensic report could definitely came from the headlight or from being dragged on the road again. Don't jump to conclusions too quickly!

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    1. Also maybe it was not the original color of the car.

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  11. Yeah it sounds like New England cops suck.

    lol

    "are there not spare headlights listed as being found in her car? How common is it to always carry around spare headlights?"

    has this been mentioned before?

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  12. Could the glass on Vasi's clothes come from being dragged a distance thorough already broken glass on the ground instead of glass from a broken headlight or something similar on Maura's car?

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  13. It could not have been Maura's car for one very important detail. Saturns are not normal cars. They are plastic. Paint would not transfer normally. Assuming he hits the bumper then hood then glass, there is not a section of the car that would have chipped away paint. Those parts are plastic and won't chip. He would have had to have flew up onto the roof to gather any paint of a Saturn.

    Second detail: Maura's car is black. The yellow paint chip found on the young man would not have come from a black plastic car. If I read correctly, the paint chip was identified by the officer as being yellow. Yellow is a primer used to make color pop. It would most likely be used on a red car. I am quessing an early to mid 90's import, Honda maybe Toyota. The older ones flake paint like crazy after the tiniest tap on the bumper once the clear coat shows cracks. Him hitting the weather beaten hood and bumper would give a lot more paint flakes a chance to stick to hia clothing while flipping around on the car and rolling tk thw ground. I he rolled so kuch that his pants were around his ankles, think of how much paint had to transfer in order to stay on his clothes even after they werw cut off and bagged. It simply could not have been a black Saturn. I know that from a racing and customizing background.

    The bad news is, there were a shit ton of mid 90s Hondas and Toyotas being driven inthe area at the time. No way of finding the driver but we know Maura has nothing to do with it so we should let it go.

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  14. the cops in Amherst probably see a lot of drunk guys on a weekend night (weekend starts on Thursday as many don't have classes on Friday)

    as for the extra headlight, I don't see that as a big deal. At various times I have had some in my car. First sometimes they only sell them in pairs. Secondly, if one light goes out, you can expect the other to go out soon after since they usually are put in together so maybe someone would carry a spare. Or maybe they were part of Maura's kit for her car like the rag.

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  15. Was he on a bike? Those paint colors sound like a bike paint job to me. Just a thought.

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  16. the geography is interesting. I always thought it happened in downtown Amherst but the accident was on the outskirts of downtown and it seems Vasi had actually walked at least a half mile in the snow before getting hit.
    He was last seen at 103 North Pleasant Street (the ice cream place) and was apparently walking south on Triangle (the report calls it east) as reported by a witness) when he was hit. Seems he had walked past the intersection of Matoon and Triangle (if house numbers are an indication) only a short way when he was hit. To get to Triangle he would have had to walk north on Pleasant then taken a right onto Triangle. His friend left him to get car keys and went to the Monkey Bar which was farther south on Pleasant. to get to his friend's house on Fearing Street, Vasi would have had to walk north on Pleasant to the Triangle intersection and taken a left onto Triangle for a couple of blocks to Fearing. He apparently took the wrong turn and was actually heading away from his friend's house when he was hit. His friend worked in the DB Mart which was then located on the northeast corner of the Triangle/ Pleasant intersection. Vasi would have had to walk right past it on his way to the accident scene. He was also walking away from his residence hall, Emerson, which to get to he should have taken the left at Pleasant and Triangle and walked past Fearing onto campus.

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    1. Your on the right track. If he were as drunk as his friends say, he was very confused. My bet is he took a right onto Kellogg Ave which is at the corner where Barts is and then stayed to the left onto Smith street. This connects with Triangle almost directly across from Mattoon and the high school intersection. He must have realized his mistake mistake and started up triangle towards the Mattoon/Triangle street intersection. He would have known this cut through and may have used it to avoid being seen by police again since they patrol downtown pretty heavily.

      Just a side note, Amherst sucks at plowing. The streets are the worst in the area and in that area, there are always high snowbanks. I swear it would kill the town of Amherst to actually do a good job at plowing. He could have been avoiding an oncoming car and slipped on the icy side of the road and been hit accidentally. They plow the sidewalk but only after it snows leaving an inch of solid snow and ice. There are times I have pulled into businesses or my old work and tried to pull out of a nicely plowed driveway only to become stuck on the ice left from plowing the side walks. Also, when they plow the sidewalk, it is very very narrow, at least where I used to work on Main street. It would be so icy and slick on the side walks that college kids walking to the bus stops would walk on the shoulder of the road and wait for the bus on the side of the street since they would have to jump over a snow bank to actually get on the bus. As much as his accident can be blamed on him being trashed, i also think it can be blamed on shitty plowing on the part of Amherst. I, and other people in the area I know, can tell you, Amherst is the worst when it comes to plowing. If it isn't the main section of Pleasant street, they don't care how how well the snow is cleared.

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  17. when you read the report neither the friends nor the cops were unreasonable in their actions. the friends didn't abandon vasi. they left him semi-conscious and went back to get car keys to drive him home a few doors down. they were there when the cops came by and told them they'd take care of the situation. the friends thought Vasi could not go anywhere given his state but they underestimated him.

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  18. Just a comment here that really doesn't have anything to do with Maura's case... Awful that the police left this guy drunk on a cold evening... and just as bad that his friends did the same.

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  19. So many people jumpimg to hasty conclusions without considering so many things. The pants, paint, glass dont tell us ANYTHING besides he slid on the pavement, in the winter, in New England. In New England winters the pavement is littered with paint chips from the corrosion. Once again, another dead end. The onlly information that would help is if there was a witness, which there is not.

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  20. Just chiming in to say that I used to carry multiple mutli-packs of *taillights* in my car. My right-rear taillight kept burning out every other week or so. In order to avoid tickets, I kept replacing the bulbs until I had the time & money to have the electrical short
    professionally fixed.

    Still, even if Maura did have extra headlights in her car, it seems moot if the paint chips don't match her car.

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  21. I don't know what it was like back in 2004, and maybe it was different in the US, but in Britain the Domino's delivery cars have always been red, blue and silvery white, as in:

    https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/NMxeLFyRslLsMAcmxP7aQmKtEn4=/31x0:642x407/1280x854/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/47486271/Screenshot_2015-10-21_16.58.21.0.0.png

    Would match the paint flecks kinda, though I'm damned if I can work that into a theory.

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  22. FWI Vasi's home address in Dorchester is right near where the Wahlberg family lived when they were growing up ans Marky Mark was getting arrested.

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