Domestic Violence Unit Officer Brittni Willie apprehends man suspected of stalking after domestic violence event
Aug 05, 2020 02:54PM
By Kirk Bradford
Domestic Violence Unit Officer Brittni Willie poses with Millcreek City Council, Chief Steve Debry and supporters after being awarded Officer of the Month in Millcreek. (Kirk Bradford/City Journals)
By Kirk Bradford | [email protected]
While victims of domestic violence can often not receive the necessary help before it ends in tragedy. In Millcreek recently, this was not the case.
After a violent incident between a man and woman, charges were filed and the man convicted. Preceding that conviction, the man has now been charged with “stalking” his victim after a Millcreek Precinct Officer Brittni Willie dedicated hours to grasp the situation and respond.
Charging documents show the man allegedly created fake social media accounts and left fake voicemails alluding there could be pending criminal charges she would face unless she engaged in couples therapy with the suspect. Charging documents also show the man went as far as creating a fictious Unified Police Department phone number based on an expired UPD number.
According to the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, from 2000 until 2020, 42% of adult homicide cases were domestic violence related and 88% involve male suspects. The UDVC also states that on average, 80 children witness the murder or attempted murder of their mother.
UPD Millcreek Police Chief Steve DeBry praised Willie for the work she does on their domestic violence unit. “For Det. Brittni Willie’s honorable actions, and tremendous investigation, she has been chosen for Officer of the Month.”
Mayor Silvestrini commended her work saying, “Officer Willie, you just do so many things right. The city council and I really appreciate all the work you do for our DV Unit.”
Chief Debry read the award citation of the incident:
“The male showed up at the female’s residence to gather belongings. There was an encounter between the two and the male was sprayed with pepper spray by the female. The initial officer investigated, obtained video of him being sprayed, and believed he was the potential victim in this case.
“Willie promptly conducted follow up and interviewed the male. He indicated he was over at the residence with peaceful intentions and was sprayed by pepper spray for no reason. Willie tried several times to speak with the female but was initially unsuccessful. Willie remained persistent in her attempts and did interview the female. Willie learned and later proved the following:
“After the male’s interview with Det. Willie, he sent a falsified voicemail to the female. He posed as an officer. He changed his phone number to an out of service UPD phone number, he told her she was going to be charged, and would be facing significant jail time or couples counseling in lieu of jail. He set up two fake Facebook accounts, four fake Instagram accounts and contacted her current boyfriend. In his messages to her boyfriend, he again made false accusations regarding charges she was facing. He contacted the initial officer in the case and indicated he had been meeting with the District Attorney over this case. This also proved to be false.
“The female informed Det. Willie of a previous incident between them which occurred in a northern Utah city. During this incident he attacked her, hit her, threatened her with a knife, and destroyed her phone. He was convicted for this attack. The female indicated this horrific incident left her distraught, damaged and in near permanent fear. She began carrying pepper spray after this assault. She indicated on the night she pepper sprayed him, she encountered him in her apartment hallway and told him to leave and believed he did so. Scared, she went to leave the complex and encountered him alone in a parking garage. He refused to leave. In fear, alone, and trapped she utilized her pepper spray. At the time of her initial report, her fear was crippling, and she was unable to provide all details.
“Det. Willie tirelessly worked this case with compassion, tenacity, and resolve. Det. Willie was a true professional and ally for the female victim. What initially appeared to be one thing, was completely proven to be the opposite. True and accurate justice was served as a direct result of Det. Willie’s efforts. Several weeks after this case was resolved and the male was charged, Det. Willie received an unsolicited email from the victim. The following is a direct quote from the email. ‘I am sure you know, that he is being charged with stalking. While the situation itself is unfortunate, I cannot stress enough how GRATEFUL I am for you. I still have PTSD dreams about him hurting me and having nobody to call for help, but when I wake up, I remember that I do have help and that you've literally saved my life in so many ways. Because of you I have control over my life again, I have freedom, and I have peace.’”