by Travis Mateer
A trial was held in Mineral County on March 25th and the person on trial, David Barsotti, was ultimately found NOT guilty of the misdemeanor charge he faced for PFA (partner/family assault).
I attended most of the trial and was therefore able to see, along with the jury, the body camera footage of the responding officer to the 911 call on March 9th, 2021. For those NOT aware of the Rebekah Barsotti missing person case, this is roughly four months before Rebekah went missing.
I’m going to offer a very subjective interpretation of what I saw in that footage based on my own reliance on alcohol and how that dependency impacted my partner of 20 years because I think the insights might be helpful in finding answers to where Rebekah might be.
The first clip of the body camera footage shown at trial was the Deputy’s interaction with David Barsotti. The Deputy entered the house after being told by Rebekah that David had his dogs, which could be threatening, and several guns; a shotgun, AR-style long gun, and a handgun.
David is located by the Deputy in the master bedroom, down a hallway. The dogs are in crates and David is hiding under a blanket, fully clothed, with a belt on and magazine clips attached. The Deputy brings David out to the living area and proceeds to get David’s side of the story.
David proceeds to make a lot of excuses for why he got VERY drunk and allegedly scared his wife enough to warrant a 911 call, excuses like a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
I used similar excuses to justify my excessive drinking, referencing things like getting assaulted by a meth head, having knives pulled on me, and other fun traumas from working at the homeless shelter whenever I REALLY had to throw out a smokescreen to deflect from the behavior that was causing my wife concern.
During the interaction with the Sheriff Deputy, David Barsotti is given a heaping pile of benefit of the doubt that he really is a wounded combat Veteran with a legitimate service animal and a mental health condition that his wife triggered when she awoke him from sleep.
According to Rebekah, who is shown in a lengthy clip AFTER the jury sees David’s pity party, it was HER who was awoken by David banging on the wall with a boot. In the clip Rebekah presents as NOT drunk and her ability to keep her shit together is one of the things David’s lawyer, Paul Ryan, did a good job exploiting.
Rebekah’s calmness during her interaction with the Deputy is difficult to put into context for those who don’t understand co-dependent dynamics, and is therefore easy to interpret as evidence that Rebekah COULD NOT HAVE BEEN as scared as she is claiming.
What people might not understand is that managing emotional responses to avoid triggering an alcoholic is a part of the dysfunctional dance, and the thing Rebekah says in the clip that rings true to me is how stupid she felt. I’ve heard similar things in counseling about how stupid my wife felt after making excuses and downplaying my drinking to my family.
The obvious difference between me and David Barsotti is that I decided to man up because I love my family and I want to be a better person.
What kind of person is David Barsotti?
Is he a poor victim of the harsh reality of war, reduced to limp around a courtroom with his emotional support pup thanks to the ravages of combat?
Or is David Barsotti a lying, manipulating addict who saw his VA caregiving scheme getting compromised by his legal partner?
Who is the REAL DB?
And, more importantly, where the hell is his wife?