A Belmont student who said he was threatened by former Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas told a 911 dispatcher he saw police pull over the football player minutes before Bironas was killed in a single car crash.
However, in a report released by Metro Police spokesperson Don Aaron, the department has no record of any vehicle being pulled over in the Acklen and Wedgewood area during the time frame of the 911 call.
The student, Connor Fraley, a Belmont junior, declined to comment to the Belmont Vision in a phone call, however he spoke freely with The Tennessean on Tuesday about the incident.
At issue is whether police pulled over Bironas’ white SUV, then let him go or if Fraley saw the police blue lights and assumed it was for Bironas.
Metro Police said the lights Fraley saw could have been those of an officer responding to a robbery-in-progress call in the Centennial Park area, according to the report released.
“It is possible that any blue lights seen by the student were in regard to the robbery call in that, again, officers in the field had not gotten information on the white SUV at that point in time.”
The 911 tapes have Fraley’s voice saying he saw police stop the football player after he tried to run Fraley and a car full of Belmont students off the road. None of the other students have been identified. Fraley was unaware the driver of the SUV was Bironas until the morning after the incident.
Bironas engaged with the four students in a high-speed chase after he threatened to kill to everyone in the vehicle when Fraley warned him about a burning smell coming from the exhaust. The driver eventually lost Bironas in the Acklen Avenue area near campus, according to the report in The Tennessean.
During the call with dispatchers, Fraley said he believed the police were stopping the white SUV and made the reference at 10:48:18 p.m. He then makes the reference to blue lights at 10:48:46 p.m., according to the report.
The following is a transcript of a portion of the 911 call Fraley made to dispatchers:
Connor Fraley: There’s a police car right behind him. Right now, I think. White SUV? Yeah, yup, that’s him, that’s him, you guys got him right there.
Operator: Okay, they already got him?
Fraley: Just behind…
Operator: Okay is the police pulling him over right now?….. (Pause, breathing,) Connor?
Fraley: Yes? Can you hear me?
Operator: Are the police pulling him over right now?
Fraley: Yes, ma’am I believe so, I believe so.
Operator: They have their lights on?
Fraley: Uhmm, I’m saw, we were, we were passed the tree line and it cut off when we saw the police turn their lights on behind him pulling him over and, and, and it was the white SUV , It was the white SUV they were pulling over.
Operator: OK, I need you to stop somewhere so you can talk to the officer.
Fraley proceeded to give the operator his location so an officer could respond.
Officers in the field had not received any information about the white SUV while Fraley was still on the phone with the 911 operator, according to the report.
After the incident recorded on the 911 call, an officer met with the Belmont students in a parking garage on campus and checked to see if the white SUV had been pulled over.
The dispatcher responded that there no was record of any stop in the area within the hour when the officer ask for confirmation.
The police department’s computer systems also have no record of any officer running the license plate on the Bironas SUV until after 11:30 p.m. from the crash scene where he was killed.
The investigation into the death of Bironas is still ongoing.
Kirk Bado and Emily Proud contributed to this report.