Tale of the 911 tape

August 30, 2011

911 Recording Refutes San Luis Obispo Police Officer’s Claims

EDITORS NOTE: See The blue code, a copy of the 911 tape, Scott Cramer’s statement to police, and a listing of officer Cramer’s statement compared with the 911 tape at the bottom of this story.

By KAREN VELIE

An Atascadero woman screams, “stop, stop, please send someone,” to the 911 operator.

In the next room, caller Sarah Summers’ developmentally disabled stepson grapples with another man who has followed him to his father’s home after the stepson passed him on the road. Her 74-year-old husband James, undergoing chemotherapy, has just seen his son smash through the front storm door with a stranger.

The man wrestling with Summers’ stepson is off-duty San Luis Obispo Police Officer Scott Cramer.

Cramer would tell Atascadero police officers that he was not fighting with Summers, 50, and that he was maintaining his calm as he dealt with an aggressor.

Summers’ stepson, Scott, tells a different story, and a recently released 911 tape supports the disabled man’s account of the March 2010 altercation.

“Upon listening to the tape, you can tell this is an outraged irate driver, who is trespassing in an innocent family’s’ home, and dispensing his own variety of curbside instant justice, said Summers’ attorney James McKiernan who has filed suit against Cramer and the city of San Luis Obispo. “How does an officer unleash it on a hapless disabled individual after all of those years of training?”

Scott Summers T-shirt was torn and bloodied during the altercation. Blood stains are still visible even though the shirt had been laundered.

Excerpts from the 911 tape support Summers’ account and call into question Cramer’s statement that he “spoke calmly” (Currently, a forensic sound studio technician is working to clarify some of the muffled statements on the 911 tape.)

Scott Summers: “Get your hands off me. Stop it. Get your hands off me.”

Scott Summers: “You know what, you are going to jail. I don’t care who you are.”

Cramer: “Oh, Screw you?

Scott Summers: “No, fuck you.”

Cramer: “Fuck you back. I can do whatever…”

Scott Summers: I want to see your badge.

Sarah Summers: “Yeah, I don’t know what happened prior to that it sound like some antagonizing is going on the road and…”

Operator: “So it sounds like – it’s like a road rage kind of thing.”

Sarah Summers: “It was – It was road rage kind of stuff and as when one thing led to another, and the next thing, you know, the guy comes down here to settle it out.”

On March 18, 2010, Scott Summers, who lives in a disabled housing facility, was driving an older model BMW he was loaned by the auto shop where his truck was being repaired.

Summers passed Cramer’s red truck on Old Morro Road East, a winding rural street. Cramer was driving with his 8-year-old. According to the lawsuit filed over the incident, Cramer began racing up to Summers’ bumper, falling back, and revving up and again getting bumper to bumper.

Summers made it to his parent’s house. A short time later, Cramer showed up.

Cramer said it was his son who pointed out Summers’ car, parked in front of a home. Cramer said he had not expected to find the driver of the car when he drove through the neighborhood looking for the vehicle.

But, several neighbors said Cramer had canvassed the neighborhood, going door to door asking about the BMW that passed him, Summers said.

Cramer came down the driveway to the house. Summers said he stepped outside, onto his parents’ porch, to find out what the man wanted.

Cramer allegedly began yelling at Summers, Summers said.

“He yelled, ‘You think you are someone special because you drive a BMW?’ ” Summers said.

Before he could answer, Summers said, Cramer punched him three times in the Adam’s apple, once in the side and than threw him through a closed storm door breaking out the glass and tearing the door from its hinges.

The 911 tape clearly shows Cramer was the aggressor, McKiernan said.

Cramer, though, told Atascadero police he was calm and that Summers was the aggressor. Cramer said Summers called him “a pussy,” pushed him and attempted to strike him.

Cramer also said in his statement, that after he noticed a woman in the house was on the phone, “I calmly explained to her that I was not fighting and I would release him as soon as he quit trying to kick me and fight with me.”

He then said he identified himself to Sarah Summers as a police officer and gave his address to her before leaving. The statements are not heard on the 911 tape.

The tape does have Cramer apologizing to Sarah Summers for his actions.

Scott Summers’ lawyer, McKiernan named both the city of San Luis Obispo and Cramer in a lawsuit he filed seeking $500,000 in damages.

“Our primary position is Scott Cramer was acting under color of law assaulting this man and explaining he is a police officer,” McKiernan said. “We have received two calls that cast suspicion that this is not the first time this has happened.”

The suit contends that the city of San Luis Obispo has a duty to hire, train and supervise officers to avoid the infliction of harm and excessive force on citizens. The police department, known for bringing ultimate fighting champion Chuck Liddel into the department to teach officers street-fighting techniques, is accused of not training and supervising officers in a fashion as to avoid harm and the use of excess force upon the public.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford has scheduled a case management hearing on Nov. 30.

 

The blue code

Public records regarding this incident have been kept from Summers and the media for more than a year, despite repeated requests.

Atascadero Police department supervisor, Ann Jutras, said that the department did not have to release the 911 tape because there was an ongoing investigation into the incident. She also said that the department was protecting the privacy rights of the victims.

However, both the 911 caller and alleged victim, Sarah and Scott Summers, had given their permission to have the tape released and the case had been closed for more than a year.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office decided not to prosecute Cramer. Among the documents used by the district attorney’s office was an Atascadero supplemental police report which contains statements Cramer made.

The supplemental report paints Scott Summers as the aggressor even though the 911 audio tape appears to refute Cramer’s account of the altercation.

The district attorney’s office does not usually listen to 911 tapes when deciding whether to prosecute. The statute of limitations has now expired.

The original Atascadero police report, which consists of only a few sentences, said police responded to an altercation at a house where two men had argued over a traffic incident.

That report was given to Summers who requested a copy of the police report. But police did not give Summers the supplemental report which supported Cramer’s account.

A request to the district attorney’s office for the supplemental report was denied. Although officials in the office agreed that police reports are considered public records, they said they sent the Atascadero police supplemental report back to the department.

The district attorney’s office reported that it did not make a copy of the supplemental report, which was considered in deciding against prosecution.

Atascadero police refused to provide a copy of the supplemental report, saying that police reports are not public records.

But, as part of the discovery process in his lawsuit, Summers was able to get a copy of the 911 tape, the supplemental report and Cramer’s statement to police. Summers provided a copy to CalCoastNews which had sought the records for more than a year.

 

The misstatements

San Luis Obispo Police Officer Scott Cramer said in his statement to Atascadero police that, “My 20-years experience as a police officer leads me to believe his reactions to my calm demeanor indicate either an anger management issue or a mental health issue.”

On the 911 tape, Cramer is cursing, yelling at Summers for passing him and refusing to let go of Summers.

Cramer is heard yelling on the tape that Scott Summers was driving 80 mph in a section of winding road that measures less than four-tenths of a mile.

He would later say in his statement that he estimated Summers was driving between 65 to 70 mph in a 25 mph hour zone. However, the actual speed limit on Old Morro Road East is 55 mph.

Cramer said he repeatedly told Summers he did not want to fight him.

However, that statement is not heard on the tape.

 

Listen to the 911 audio tape


Click here

  (link)

 

Read Officer Cramer’s  sworn statement to the Atascadero Police Department.


Loading...
Nancimeek

Was the statement signed and dated? Or was that left out


cmnsns

Just the simple fact that he pursued and tracked down the driver of the BMW shows you the intent of a confrontation. To further his lack of judgement he had a child in the car while he chose to further his pursuit. This officer appears to be a loose cannon and should not be allowed back on the streets until this whole situation is thoroughly looked into.


Paperboys

This cop ought to have been prosecuted. If he were a civilian, I guarantee you he would have faced charges, assault and battery, trespassing if nothing else.

The victim should also have been allowed to make a citizen’s arrest, since it appears APD had no intentions of doing so.

To follow someone home and onto their elderly parents’ property shows a disregard for other people’s very right to be secure in their own home or in this case the home of his father and stepmother.

Had the cop done this in Texas, he likely would have found himself on the business end of a shotgun. He’s lucky that didn’t happen even in A-town. Now that would have been a story — cop follows someone onto their private property, starts a fight and ends up gut shot with a 12-gauge.


That cop had no business following anyone home no matter what happened on the roadway. He should have done what cops tell everyone else to do — get the license plate number and call police. Let the cops handle this sort of thing.

That happens every day in SLO, someone sees a vehicle driving erratically or speeding, or texting, talking on the cell phone, possible DUI etc… and the witnesses report the behavior. It’s then up to the cops to locate the car and see what’s up. Sometimes they do catch the vehicle but most times they can’t find them.

No matter, people shouldn’t take matters into their own hands. I don’t care if he is an off-duty cop, he’s got no business doing vigilante justice. He should have called APD and reported the guy instead of hunting him down and beating him up.

And how can a developmentally disabled man pose much of a threat to a big strong officer of the law? Just how disabled is this guy?

Reading the officer’s statement if better than the funny pages int eh newspaper.

DA Shea, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for not prosecuting this idiot. What does he have to do, actually kill someone before you’ll go after him?

I hope McKiernan gets a ton of money for his client. No matter, with the lawsuit filed, Ofc. Cramer is done as a cop. Every arrest he makes form now on with throw the abuse of power thing right back in his face. He might as well hang up the badge and gun and become a dispatcher. His credibility as a witness for the prosecution is shot.


CA Native

Of course, we know what would happen if any citizen dare defend himself with a firearm against a rampaging cop. He would be tasered, beaten, perpwalked, arrested, and charged with multiple felonies. His possessions, including firearms, computers, tools and vehicles would be impounded. The local newsmedia would assist in the persecution/demonization by showing his mugshot over and over. There would be no justice, only retribution from our so-called ‘judicial system’.


I’m not suggesting you should ever take a beating from a criminal. Just don’t use a firearm to protect yourself, unless you’re prepared to SSS.


MaryMalone

I think the victim defending himself with a gun from a rampaging cop would be shot by the cop, even if the cop was not in uniform.


If the officer was in uniform–oh yeah, he’d be shot.


And, as in Cramer’s case, if the cop has done something wrong–well, dead witnesses tell no tales, do they?


CA Native

Not to bust your bubble, Mary, but cops aren’t real proficient with firearms. They are notoriously bad shots. Don’t automatically assume an armed citizen, trained in self defense and proficient with his firearm, would lose in a gunfight with a cop.


RU4Real

And I HATE TO BUST YOUR BUBBLE, CA Native, but all the cops I know in LAPD & Ventura PD, spend a lot of time at the range, honing their skills & becoming more & more proficient. I don’t know if SLO PD or SLO Sheriff Deputies are any where near as dedicated to THEIR departments…And yet, THEY want to be paid as much or more than an Officer with LAPD! What a joke!


choprzrul

Head out to the Hogue Action Pistol Range at the San Luis Obispo Sportsman’s Association (SLOSA) on 10/1 to watch the IDPA match or 10/8 to watch the USPSA match. Then get back to me on who you think is better trained in this county. I am betting that 40 out of the 50 civilians at last week’s USPSA match could hold their own against ANY law enforcement officer in this county.


oto

Gee wiz! Judging from the list of comments, it looks like your readers have been “overcome by a sense of civic duty” to speak out…I can’t think of a better way to document the accuracy of police incident reports, than having the parties involved publicly correct blatently false information placed in a police incident report.


In fact, police incident reports are considered in law to be so unreliable, that they are considered heresay and inadmissible in court. Until one finds oneself enmeshed in litigation, it is hard to comprehend just how bad it is, and how many innocent people go to jail for crimes they did not commit.


Police routinely lie in incident reports for two main reasons. The first is to convict the innocent, and the second is to cover up their own bad acts while abusing their “discretion” under color of law. So few defendants complain because they cannot afford a protracted lawsuit, and because they feel helpless in the face of such organized “governmental” activity.


But if you don’t speak out when you are falsely accused, you send the signal that “it’s okay,” and it’s no big deal. It is not okay and it is a big deal, the next time you have to fill out a job application. It means food on your table, or the lack of it. It means having the money to take your baby to the doctor, or the lack of it.


Santa Clara University started collecting statistics on wrongful convictions. The aim of the research was to find out how such miscarriages of justice occur, and how to prevent wrongful convictions in the future. The project is called “Veritas,” and you can get information from their Web site.


If you are the victim of someone with a badge who is acting like a criminal, you definitely need to get the police incident report and you need to make a written correction of any false facts placed in the report. If warranted, make a written complaint to the head of the agency and send it certified mail.


If the police refuse to give you the incident report, you need to write your story to the newspaper. That is why newspapers exist. If a cop abuses his authority with one person, he may have done it to others. And you don’t know if the guy just had a bad day, or if the guy is just a bad cop until you know how many times he has abused his authority, and how many victims there are out there.


Fortunately, the attorney in this case was able to uncover the existence of a “supplemental report.” The bulk of defendants, (and this includes those who are innocent,) never see the incident reports much less know about any “supplemental reports.”


And by the way, badge No. 1 belongs to Patrick Hedge’s brother. But don’t get the two confused. Badge No. 1 is the good cop….


willie

oto

Very good post


ApathyWillKillYou

If you have not read Scott Cramer’s rendition of what REALLY happened please do so.


Mr. Cramer is calling himself the VICTIM and was contemplating pressing CHARGES against the disabled Summers!


And this was the document that was so hard to get a hold of and was purportedly why the DA did not pursue the case further.


A window into the mind of a corrupt police officer on how they manipulate egregious acts such as this.


Pathetic beyond words!


Nancimeek

They believe a guy just because he is a cop? They believed Robert Jones just because he is an attorney……….why doesn’t the DA’s office LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE and the TAPES. The tapes don’t lie.


standup

After reading through this and looking at the comments, shouldn’t DA Shea be arrested for obstruction of justice?


ApathyWillKillYou

STANDUP


You should be very careful about stating “discouraging words about DA SHEA”


He has the unbridled power to subpoena this web site, find out who you are and make your life a living hell!


That is if it is not already happening or in process!


And for the record “I believe that Gerald Shea is the best DA that SLO county has ever had and his unopposed election victory’s are a testament to his accomplishments in selectively prosecuting only the real criminals in SLO county”


MaryMalone

I think DA Shea is a little more smart than that. Just guessing.


Cindy

STANDUP, Say what you want, if DA Shae ever tried to subpoena the names behind these monikers , Velie and her lawyers would be screaming about it and everybody would know. In fact the entire country would know about it.


Our constitution and Bill of Rights does still afford us some protections.


MaryMalone

I don’t know about obstruction of justice, but I think the DA, the Atascadero PD and Cramer should be prosecuted for conspiracy to coverup an attempted murder.


Cramer punched Summers three times in the throat. The throat is where they hyoid bone is located. The hyoid bone is very small and delicate. If it breaks, there is a high likelihood that the victim will die of asphyxiation. Often what is a murder by suffocation, either a soft ligature or a hard object (such as the infamous “choke-hold” that police used to use, and the deaths from asphyxiation were the reason choke-holds were made illegal), goes undiagnosed because it takes a very specific type of x-ray to find it. These x-rays are not routinely done by the coroner.


Cramer has been a police officer for 20 years. Certainly he knows that applying force to the throat can result in death of the victim.


So, out of ALL of the places he could have punched Summers, and all of the ways he could have injured Summers, he chose to punch him not once, but THREE times in the throat.


As Ian Fleming wrote for James Bond in “Goldfinger”:

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.


That was no “accident” that Cramer applied what could have easily been a lethal blow to Summers’ throat. He meant to kill Summers.


So the Cramer, the Atascadero PD and the SLOCo DA should be charged with conspiracy to cover up attempted murder.


RU4Real

How about Jim Mckiernan? He’d make an incredible DA…He’s honest & ultra smart & HE CAN’T be BOUGHT…


mkaney

Forget that tv commercial shilling lawyer, how about Ilan Funke-Bilu !? haha I am joking as I don’t know much about him other than he sure is a larger than life character!


Cindy

Funke-Bilu is a larger than life attorney because he is so good at what he does. He wins the type of verdicts that other attorney’s marvel at. He also has a sense of humor and cracks jokes that makes juries and judges laugh and the juries love him. His jokes are often at the expense of the prosecutor and I was recently told a story about a prosecutor that once excused herself from the courtroom and was located crying in the ladies room!


He would never agree to be our DA, he makes too much money doing what he does best, getting people off, the guilty and the innocent alike.


smartmouth

DISGUSTING!


Rawhide

Officer “badge” Cramer…

Fireman “badge” Mason…


Both assult a “citizen” …One in a bathroom, the other in his own home…


The “BADGE” in this county will molt likely….you fill in the blanks!


MaryMalone

Firefighter Farino, in another discussion folder on CCN, said that firefighters are “flipped off” by the public.


Considering how Mason has been allowed to assault three citizens, go without prosecution, and STILL be a firefighter, I can now see why people are flipping off the firefighters. I can also see why so many SLOCity voters voted against the firefighters and police in the recent election.


The police are no better, as shown by Cramer and his PD and DA buddies’ coverup of his attempted murder of Summers.


No, I won’t ever stoop to flipping off either a FF or PO, but my behavior has changed towards them.


While I always before nodded hello if I saw them in our local coffee shops or on the streets, and often spoke to them briefly, I now avoid them like the plague.


I don’t look at them. I don’t make eye contact. I don’t speak to them. I don’t walk near them. If they are in a coffee shop when I enter, I turn around and leave.


Every police officer we come in contact may be another Cramer, and we would never know it because of the conspiracies to coverup their actions taken by those who should be bringing them to justice.


So I assume they are ALL Cramers, and I avoid them as if they are violent, murderous thugs, ready to attempt to murder a citizen at any moment.


It is the only way to be sure.


Dogpound

That is the most ridiculous comment EVER! I am ashamed of you Mary Malone. You have cried of racial profiling, discrimination, false accusations, etc. and now you are doing the EXACT same to the police!! Just because of a few incidnets of a few bad apples ALL cops are bad?? “Ready to attempt murder at any moment?”” Please. Maybe you should never ever leave your house again because anyone MAY BE A MURDERER!! Ridiculous. Focus on three to four (or whatever number you have) “bad” apples to convict the rest of the several hundred cops that do a great job day in and day out. People on this BLOG, and this “news” reporting are ridiculous!