Sunday, November 09, 2014

COMMENTARY: Avoid Rushing To Judgment In Busch Domestic Violence Case

The Dover (Del.) Police Department confirmed Friday that it is conducting a criminal investigation into an alleged domestic assault involving former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch. 

The incident is alleged to have occurred inside Busch’s motorhome at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 26, but was not reported to law enforcement until last Wednesday. And while the investigation is still in its early stages, the case promises to be explosive. 

The department has not identified who filed the complaint against Busch, but longtime girlfriend Patricia Driscoll has confirmed that she was the complainant. In court documents, Driscoll claimed Busch was "verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself” after a poor qualifying effort at Dover.   

Driscoll said Busch called her names and accused her of "having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him." The complaint alleges that Busch “grabbed Driscoll’s face and smashed her head against a wall three times.” Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran to a nearby motorhome to put an ice pack on her head and neck, and suffered from severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising.  

Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, vigorously denied those allegations, calling them “a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship.” He said Busch will cooperate fully with the investigation and “expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light.”  

There is little or no common ground in the stories told by Busch and Driscoll. With such a gaping disparity in testimony, it’s clear that someone is – at very least – fudging the truth. While it may be tempting to choose between “he said” and “she said,” NASCAR, its fans and media members must avoid the urge to do so. 

Late last week, NASCAR issued a statement saying they are aware of the investigation, “recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing.”  

In marked contrast to the National Football League -- where Commissioner Roger Goodell has drawn fire for ruling on cases involving Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Ray McDonald before the facts were known -- NASCAR will remain in the background, allowing law enforcement officials to do their jobs and determine exactly what went down on the evening of September 26.  

Much as they did when driver Travis Kvapil was arrested in October of last year on domestic violence charges, NASCAR will wait to see whether there was actual wrongdoing, or simply accusations. Stewart Haas Racing will do the same, allowing Busch to compete while the accusations against him are investigated.  

“This is an allegation Stewart-Haas Racing takes very seriously,” said the team last week, “but we’re still gathering all of the facts.”  

That is enough, as both team and sanctioning body attempt to balance fairness to Busch with a clear and unquestionable stance against domestic violence. Unfortunately, not everyone is interested in fairness or restraint.
After the tragic death of Sprint Car driver Kevin Ward, Jr. in early August, many fans and media members passed immediate judgment on former Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, leveling misguided allegations of intentional misconduct, or even outright murder. They ate a healthy portion of crow a few weeks later, however, when a grand jury examined the facts and found Stewart blameless.

Now, many of those same knee-jerk reactionaries are jumping to conclusions again, using Busch’s tempestuous history as grounds for conviction, or citing the six weeks that elapsed between the alleged incident and Driscoll’s police report as proof of a “woman scorned” defense.

Some folks never learn.

 

 

 

 

 

20 comments:

  1. I smell a rat here! Sponsor immediately parts ways even before an investigation begins. And defense says "Unable to accept end of a relationship" Dont wanna pass judgement but something dont add up here & im just a dumb country boy!!

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    1. His sponsor has not "parted ways." Haas Automation is his sponsor.

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    2. Yeah, it was the charity that parted ways with him, not the sponsor.

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    3. Brandon in TN8:56 PM

      The Armed Forces Foundation that severed ties with Kurt is a charity with as Driscoll the President.

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    4. Anonymous8:58 AM

      You don't want to pass judgement, but you just made a judgement without all the facts. Way to make Dave's point, Tony

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  2. Dave, thanks for taking a neutral stance here. All to often folks just to rash conclusions which makes things so much worse than they need to be.

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  3. She has nothing to gain here Dave. She is a very smart and successful woman.

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    1. Anonymous12:51 PM

      That doesn't make Busch guilty

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  4. Wasn't "Armed Forces Foundation" a sponsor?

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    1. No, he was a spokesperson for them.

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  5. Anonymous1:22 AM

    ...funny how a scant 3 years is considered "long term" these days.

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  6. Anonymous3:27 AM

    I am NOT and never will be a Kurt Busch fan, however....I too think we need to wait and not jump to judgment. AND I can't believe I'm saying this but I hope he is vindicated in the end.

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  7. Thanks Moody for not hanging Kurt before anything has been proven.

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  8. Not wanting to jump to conclusion but why did she wait till now to file a report why not then? Seems strange to me!

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  9. Wonder if we will see a rush to judgement from both sides like in the Stewart case. Demonizing on one hand, idolatry on the other. Neither of which was seemly.
    However 6 weeks does seem like a long time to wait.

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  10. Anonymous8:56 AM

    The information provided does not include the information that she ran into another mobile home to put ice on her head. The AP has reported on 11-07-14 that the following statement was filed in the court documents:

    “Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck”

    Makes you wonder if driver’s coaches she ran to was left unlocked or someone let her in. If someone did then she has a third party that could share what she advised him or her of when she was let in the mobile home. If not, then it will be difficult to sort out what if anything happened. You have two different stories and no evidence of injury. She involved Law Enforcement 4+ weeks after the event.

    Sorry Dave - as a member of Law Enforcement the above was very knee jerk. It was about the same view I took with the Tony Stewart situation and my responses to your blog. Gotta have all the facts before you can move forward.

    MB

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  11. This is none of our business.

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  12. Anonymous12:48 PM

    As a victim of DV I have a few thoughts... If they were broken up and Patricia thought Kurt was spiraling why would she take her son with her to Dover? If Kurt was verbally abusive why would she not immediately remove herself and her son immediately from the motorhome? What were they doing in the bedroom and where was her son? If the word gun was used by Kurt why did she not take her son immediately away from the situation and call the police? Did she not have any concerns during her 4-6 week wait to report the incident Kurt may come come after her or her son? Was she more worried about Kurt or her image then she was her sons welfare? Was she afraid reporting the incident immediately would affect her custody case? All my concerns are for her son..she made the choice to "run" to Kurt evidently uninvited...or at the very least to run to him in the middle of a bad situation..her son had no choice. When I went through my DV I sent my 3 small girls out of state..and with every situation I called the police..no matter what really happened Patricia must take her share of responsibility for what happened..and it sounds to me she made some very poor choices which put her son in harms way...

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  13. mrclause1:03 PM

    At least the comments on this site have been less hostile than those I've read on other sites. There is far more info to be released than has been so far. Such as her delay in reporting the incident because of her up coming child custody hearing, the record of the text messages to her from Kurt, the testimony of those she ran to for help. A more factual account will occur with this added info. The fact is that today we know doodly squat about the incident.
    Kurt hasn't helped himself with public opinion with his past indiscretions. Driscoll at this point has to be taken with her PR persona as a Mother, as a CEO of an armed services charity. But in doing that caution must be used to avoid pre-convicting either of them as so many did with Tony.

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  14. Anonymous2:50 AM

    Money Money Money. ......Money Just my thoughts

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