Today’s post on the Joseph Walker “road rage” murder trial in Maryland will be relatively brief, as it focuses on the 911 call made by Adam Pidel in the immediate aftermath of the Walker’s shooting of Joseph Dean Harvey, Jr.

(The transcript of this 911 call was attached as Exhibit C to the defense’s recent motion to dismiss the charges against Walker, and copy is provided at the bottom of this post. NOTE: The transcript contains un-redacted profanity.)

Pidel’s tone is one of outrage that Walker had actually shot Harvey. Immediately after informing the dispatcher that he needs immediate medical assistance at the scene, Pidel provides an unsolicited recounting of Walker’s license plate number—which the transcript captures here as “ZDT77X”—and state, and a description of the make of Walker’s Kia minivan.

As is often the case for a passenger in a vehicle, Pidel has only a vague sense of their actual location, and has considerable difficulty in advising the dispatcher exactly where to send the first responders. Pidel repeated asks Harvey, “where are we at?” and it seems that Harvey may be trying to respond but has already weakened substantially due to his gunshot wounds.

Throughout the 911 call Pidel can be heard talking with Harvey, urging him to

Stay with me, Joe, concentrate on your breath. Concentrate on your breath. Just keep doing that. Keep breathing.

Pidel tells the dispatcher that Harvey has been shot at least twice in the chest, although I believe this information is incorrect.

When asked by the dispatcher to identify the vehicle he was in, Pidel describes it as a green Honda Accord, and when asked about Walker’s car he describes it as a gold Kia minivan, and provides the license plate number again, which the transcript this captures ZDE77X, a slight variation from the first capture as ZDT77X.

Pidel also informs dispatch:

[Walker] is here. And he is here. I mean, six feet from me right here. Like right in front of me. He has his kids and wife in the car. This is ridiculous.

Pidel then goes on to describe to the dispatcher some of what occurred immediately prior to the shooting:

Yeah. I’m pretty fucking scared. But, I mean, this dude is – I’m going to be honest, sir. Are we recording? This all started because they cut us off. And they were yelling at each other. And they were going to fight on the side of the road. But a gun? Like that’s, you know, that’s a bit much.”

Near the end of the 911 recording Pidel reports that he can “hear the ambulance,” although it seems likely this may in fact have been a police vehicle. He comments that Walker is exiting his minivan and walking around the back of the vehicle, out of Pidel’s line of site. Pidel believes Walker is walking back to the cop. At the prompting of the dispatcher he describes Walker as black.

Pidel asks if the dispatcher wants to talk to the approaching police officer, but the dispatcher declines, telling Pidel “If the officer is there, let him control the situation.”

Based on Pidel’s last few comments on the 911 recording, it appears that the officer elected to control the situation by securing Pidel:

Dude, are you – he shot somebody. Shot. The guy with a gun, and you’re coming at me?

Here’s a copy of the official transcript of Pidel’s 911 call:

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.