The SLO County Sheriff’s Department played audio and video tapes resulting from a Jan. 19 call to 911 from Sheriff Patrick Hedges’ wife Sandy Oneal-Hedges for members of the media on March 26. The recordings added details but little additional information regarding the incident.
In the 911 call, Oneal-Hedges is heard to say: “I have my husband who is verbally abusing me and I need him to get out of the house.”
She later adds: “He’s yelling at me and screaming. I’ve asked him to get out and he won’t leave me alone.” The dispatch officer responded by telling her that deputies are on their way.
Subsequent recordings, which cover a 22-minute span from the time deputies first responded to the time Hedges left the Paso Robles home at his wife’s request, depict a sobbing Oneal-Hedges describing an argument between the couple. It ends with Hedges voluntarily leaving the home.
Oneal-Hedges has since filed papers for legal separation.
The grainy videos, filmed from the dashboard of two responding vehicles, show very little. The corresponding audio tapes, recorded from microphones on the deputies’ shirts, primarily consist of discussions betwteeen Oneal-Hedges and sheriff’s Sgt. Sandy Leber.
When the two squad cars arrive, a male deputy in one car stands with Hedges, outside the house. Almost no words are audible beyond “Hi sheriff.”
Leber goes in the house to talk to Oneal-Hedges, who repeatedly says there was no physical violence at issue, but does recount concerns about a daughter overhearing the argument. She also expresses concerns that Hedges might return later that evening.
“I don’t know what will happen after you leave,” she can be heard saying. “I’ve never called you guys before.” Leber tells her to simply call back if Hedges returns.
Spokesman Rob Bryn said the tapes were released in response to a report in a news blog that, in his words, “alleged that we covered up something or didn’t handle it in the same way we would any other call.”
Said Bryn: “You can plainly see here that that is not the case.”