Wong dodges DUI charge but guilty of leaving scene

| 23/08/2018 | 71 Comments
Cayman News Service

Gary Wong

(CNS): Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Garfield “Gary” Wong was acquitted of driving under the influence on Wednesday in connection with a crash he was involved in almost five years ago. But while he avoided the drunk-driving charge, Wong was convicted of careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, following a trial that began in 2017 but was adjourned more than ten times and did not end until last month. As she delivered her verdict in Traffic Court, Magistrate Grace Donalds said there were questions over the process of the breath-test, which prevented her from convicting Wong on the DUI charge, despite a reading of .184.

Wong was arrested in December 2013 after the Dodge Ram he was driving collided with a BMW on Shamrock Road. But he left the scene because, he claimed, he was not aware of the crash. He said that at the time he was trying to retrieve his phone, which had slipped from the seat into the foot well, and he believed he had hit the kerb or a pothole in the road. Soon after the crash police tracked him down at his home, where he was arrested and subjected to a breath-test at the police station.

But during the trial it emerged that a second officer was not present for the test, which meant that it was not properly verified and the results should not have been admitted in evidence.

However, the damage to both Wong’s truck and the BMW involved in the collision was so extensive that even with his eyes off the road looking for his phone, he should have been aware of the crash, the magistrate found. She therefore found that the crown had proved its case against Wong for careless driving and leaving the scene.

The senior immigration officer was bailed to return to court next month for sentencing.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He was driving the truck on the rim with sparks flying, and he thoughy he just hit a pothole LOL

  2. T Bone says:

    Wong is innocent hush unnah big mouth some of you don’t even get arrested cause unnah taken care of by your system had a friend car rammed in parking lot on west bay road whilst she was inside vehicle hit so hard she was jammed in .white male driver sped from the scene, police did absolutely nothing but got upset with her when she tried to get the CCTV footage for herself after they did nothing for over 3 weeks Then call her and talking down to her. Rcips are a disgrace if it was a local driver though the helio would have been called and every CCTV for 5 miles would have been checked. They went the extra mile for Gary Wong though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You know this is just disgusting, He is clearly guilty on all parts! He is also very dishonest about leaving the scene of the accident too – due to the fact that he very well knew that he’d hit another vehicle because he was roasted and well over the legal limit. You either abide by the law or you break it. I would be curious to know how many people that have been convicted of DUI that were only read/tested by one officer. If a man of this position can be this dishonest regarding this incident imagine what else he is capable of.

  4. Anonymous says:

    He could have taken someones car from the vehicle inspection department, drunk, crashed it into a utility pole And several other cars. And the director would have said that’s perfectly normal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Have him teach a class in ethics at our college. He will learn from the best how to cover his a$$. As long as he pays his fee to the church he is innocent.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is anyone surprised ? Clearly after the judge who also crashed while drunk was let off and kept her job the precedence was set. Amongst the other cases of caymans out-of-control drinking culture. I agree that in both cases the wrong message is being sent to the people without clarity because they will use these examples to justify their anti-social behaviour. I feel it for the people whose job it is to uphold the law without bias when things like this happen in the community. Then we wonder why the Cayman Islands is falling off rapidly.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      The judge was not let off – fined and lost her licence for 12 months. Sentenced in accordance with the law and sentencing guidelines. We will see what happens with Mr Wong when he gets sentenced, but the simple fact is the judge couldn’t convict him for the DUI if the RCIPS had not followed the clear requirement in the law for the test to be countersigned by the arresting officer. It shouldn’t make a difference in practice as careless driving and leaving the scene would also result in disqualification. But I wouldn’t get your hopes up – the former head of traffic got a 12 month ban and a $1500 fine for DUI, dangerous driving (more serious than careless) and leaving the scene. Mind you Mr Barnett pled guilty.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It took 5 years. That should tell you everything you need to know about the Cayman islands justice system.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No excuse. Lock him up.

  9. Elvis says:

    Caymanian law dat

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wong was DUI had an accident and left the scene.
    He only got away with the DUI due to a technicality as the RCIPS messed up on that point

    • Anonymous says:

      No, that’s justice. Manfunctioning police equipment cannot be used by the State to convict members of the public of crimes; unless we’ve transitioned to a dictatorship. Please, pack your bags and move out to another country that can fulfill your twisted ideals of democracy, justice, and rule of law. Damn troll!

      CNS: See paragraph 3 – the police equipment was not said by anyone to be malfunctioning.

      • Anontoo says:

        @Anon 7:18 am….. Are you some kind of nut? No…. wait……make .that “Are you an outright idiot?”. I don’t generally bad-mouth commenters here but your lack of intelligence is almost unbelievable.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for clarifying CNS. 7:18 – you should be a little more careful for calling someone a Troll when you don’t have the facts. #Caymankind

  11. Incredible says:

    So Wong didn’t LIED to the Police?
    Wong didn’t LIED against the complainant?
    Wong didn’t LIED to the Courts?

    But because we like Wong, the Deputy Governor, Chief Officers, will keep him as a Deputy Immigration Officer for the Department? He is trusted on sensitive matters, won’t LIE, and won’t LIE on anyone???

    Some of you commenters amaze me!

    • God is Judge says:

      You have to prove that.

    • Anonymous says:

      He lied. But he didn’t “lied to them” go back to school.

    • Anonymous says:

      Incredible….your grammer is incredible – gosh!!

      There is no evidence of any lie. He gave a reason for not stopping. The Magistrate ruled his reason was not sufficient for a not guilty plea.

      Come on ” incredible” engage your Brain. Or better to say nothing if you have nothing good to say.

      Did Wong arrest you? He should have for abusing the English language.

      CNS: Grammer?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Moral – if you crash your car while totally ratted get the f*** out before RCIPS arrive?

  13. Anonymous says:

    banana republic.

  14. Anonymous says:

    You know I like Gary Wong and it’s really unlucky what happened but we all have to face the music. I think he should apologize for trying to avoid responsibility and go on doing a great job at immigration

    • Anonymous says:

      Unlucky? Really?

    • Anonymous says:

      Define ‘unlucky’….

    • Anonymous says:

      think I am going to throw up! if they get rid him, enforcement will operate just fine without him because technically his assistants actually run that show not him. He has no idea…. been there a long time yes but the section has never got better under his watch! hes actually quite lazy and that from me who use to work in his section.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well as far as justice goes this is a lot better then when the police let the politician escape from hotel bathroom after a crash.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait let me see if I understand the thought process of the negative posters.

      They complain of civil servants being on paid leave for extended periods. That didn’t happen in this case. Like the private sector no one gets fired or suspended for traffic matters.

      The posters are calling for Wong to be fired. For what, a traffic accident? Really!!

      If everyone including CEO’s in the private sector was fired for traffic offences half of Cayman would be unemployed.

      This case should not even be news. Get a life.

      • Anonymous says:

        Trying to avoid responsibility by leaving the scene of an accident and further lying in court about not knowing there was an accident shows lack of integrity and respect for our laws…and yes CEO’s showing same shortfalls should be fired.

      • Boris says:

        It reeks of garlic and if you cant sniff that out, then perhaps, you are one of those who is quite content living with the stench that has taken over Cayman.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        It’s a bit more than a “traffic offence” though isn’t it? Did you read the part about the extensive damage to both vehicles and the breath test? It reads to me as if he skated on a technicality. Yes, we should err on the side of the defendant, however it seems to me fortunate that it was merely another car that was struck, and not a person.

        Mr. Wong is lucky on both counts. I don’t believe he should be fired for it, however the seriousness should not be minimalised either.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said. Nothing of note here, it is a traffic offence, has nothing to do with his employment. It is not criminal. Come on people, get a life. We have way more important issues facing this country

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you really believe a person in a senior public position of trust that leaves the scene of an accident is ‘nothing of note’?

          • Anonymous says:

            I agree its shameful he left and never checked on the driver! I understand she was hospitalized! he knew he was over the limit so he fled.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sum ting wong

  17. Jah kno Star says:

    Was Wong in the Wrong?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Everything about this case smells rotten…from the original actions taken by Wong in the accident and leaving the scene (why leave the scene if you thought you just hit a curb, and why pick up a dropped phone without stopping the vehicle), through to the lack of adequate officers to administer the alco test. Frankly this belongs in the realms of fantasy…XXXX. Caymanistan.

    • Anonymous says:

      The why’s are irrelevant. It has gone to court, he has been tried and dealt with accordingly. It is not for “john public” to reason the why’s, that was for the Judge who has done her job. It is a traffic offence not a criminal offence and is not worth the time that we are wasting on it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear, what are we to do, sit by and not challenge this stuff? That’s how dictatorships get started…so you sit on your fat a$$ if you want to, me John Public, will question it all I wish, as is my right.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Watch the ‘standards in public life’ go down the toilet here. A civil/public servant in a position of trust and good judgement left the scene of an accident. This is conduct unbecoming, but I forecast no change and perhaps a sideways promotion.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t claim the old ‘ was going to buy some bait…. ‘

  21. Anonymous says:

    so the machine works for every other person on islands ….. smh………..

    CNS: The machine was not the problem. You need to re-read paragraph 3: “But during the trial it emerged that a second officer was not present for the test, which meant that it was not properly verified and the results should not have been admitted in evidence.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the officer couldn’t remember if there was a second officer present…after 5 years who would! It’s also possible that the ‘second officer’ may have stepped out on purpose, but I guess we will never know!

      • Jotnar says:

        He shouldn’t have to remember – the second officer is meant to be there at the time and sign the print out. Surprised the DUI even got to a charge, let alone being run in court, as Mr Wong’s defence attorney would have picked up the absence of a signature immediately.

    • Soldier Crab says:

      How convenient, the BIG BOYS club!

  22. Anonymous says:

    did you expect anything other than a slap on the wrist?

  23. Pray says:

    All I know, there must be a judgement after we die. Everyone will be judge for what they do in this SHORT life. And some people will get off in the land of the living. Alot will escape harsh sentences. And some like the 2 Immigration amateurs will receive 12 1/2 long years. But “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” Proverbs 15:3

    If you are in a position of trust, I hope you are reading this post, and I hope you never use your power to commit sins or take things for granted. At home we had this saying: “whatever’s in darkness will always come to light.” You betta believe it! I’ve never seen any sin hidden forever. Never get comfortable with a position and big salary, never follow the whispers of satan to harm in any way another person, and think you can slack off without consequences.

    The Great Judge sees everything.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So what are we teaching our youth again? Its ok to drink and drive then lie about? I am so sick of the higher up getting away with this ki d of sh__. Wait for his slap on the wrist.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Please remind us of his excuse when he destroyed a section of the Airport fence on Crewe Road shortly after leaving Mango Tree Bar & Restaurant?

  26. Say it like it is says:

    The only positive here is that he did not spend the last 5 years at home on full pay.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What. A. Joke.

  28. Anonymous says:

    the police involved need to be investigated/charged for their incompetence.
    leaving the scene of the accident will get him the same punishment as the dui.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Laughable to be honest.

  30. Anonymous says:

    So this kind of sounds like a high level immigration enforcement officer left the scene of an accident for obvious reasons and then lied about not knowing he had been in an accident. Is this who we should have I a position of trust?

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