(CNS): Police management raised concerns Monday about the abuse and violence police officers endured over the weekend while carrying out arrests in the wake of three separate incidents. Suspects accused of DUI, burglary and one wanted on a warrant were involved in assaults on five police officers, one of whom was bitten, while others were kicked, slapped and spat on as they tried to do their job.
“This weekend we have seen a troubling string of incidents in which officers have been spat at, slapped, kicked, bitten and sustained minor, but painful, injuries,” said Kurt Walton, Deputy Commissioner of Police. “This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. We are here to enforce the law and keep the peace, which often means making arrests. Those who assault police will find themselves in custody and in court.”
The trouble started in the early hours of Saturday morning when two officers responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision on Fig Tree Drive in the Northward area of Bodden Town.
When police arrived the male driver, a 34-year-old man from Bodden Town who had received an injury to his ear, was outside a car which had flipped on its side. When the police told the man they could smell alcohol on his breath, he became “very belligerent”, police said, and during a scuffle with the officers the suspect “severely bit” one of them and kicked the other. He was restrained and arrested and was taken to hospital, where he and the two officers were all treated for their injuries. The driver has now been charged with two counts of assaulting police, assault ABH, resisting arrest, and refusing to provide a specimen as well as DUI.
Later on Saturday evening officers called to a disturbance near the Caribbean Bakery in West Bay were also assaulted when they tried to execute a warrant. When the police arrived at Mount Pleasant Road, two men and a woman were drinking booze at the back of the premises. The officers had a warrant out for one of the men, but when they tried to arrest him he refused to comply and resisted arrest.
As the officers tried to apprehend the man, the woman joined in and pulled at the arm of one of the police officers. He warned her he would use his pepper spray if she did not stop, while the man they we retrying to arrest began spitting at the police. As the woman continued to tried and prevent the arrest, officer used the pepper spray. However, the woman continued to fight the police, slapping and joining her male friend spitting at the officers.
The man, age 33 of West Bay, was arrested for assaulting police, causing fear or provocation of violence, resisting arrest, and for an outstanding warrant for possession of an illegal spear gun. The woman (53), also from West Bay, was arrested for disorderly conduct, assaulting police and obstructing police. Both were charged Monday.
Then early Monday morning just after 12:30am, armed officers responded to a call of a burglary-in-progress at a home on Old Crewe Road in George Town. When they arrived they saw a man standing behind a tree near the property where the break-in was reported. As they ordered him not to move the man ran and scaled a nearby wall. Although one of the officers chased and grabbed the suspect, the man fought off the police officer and managed to twist out of his grip and escaped.
Police said he had a light complexion and was of medium build, dressed in jeans and a grey or light blue t-shirt. The officer who pursued the suspect sustained a broken finger in the struggle.
Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to call George Town Police Station at 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS).