Absolute discharge for struggle with police
A Pembroke man who spent more than a day in custody after scuffling with police was this morning given an absolute discharge.
Damien Daniels, 21, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court to charges of violently resisting arrest and obstructing an officer in connection to an incident early on Monday.
According to prosecutor Takiyah Burgess, at around 3.30am that day officers attended the Esso City Tiger Mart, where they noticed a number of motorcycles parked in spaces reserved for cars, causing an obstruction.
An officer entered the store, directing the owners of the motorcycles to move them to appropriate parking areas. While a number of people responded, one motorcycle remained improperly parked.
As the officers radioed in the licence plate to identify the owner, Daniels reportedly came out of the store asking officers what was going on. While Daniels said he would move the bike, officers told him not to touch the vehicle as they were looking into who owned it.
The police officers noticed a gym bag on the vehicle and went towards it, but Daniels said that they were not allowed to search it without a warrant and grabbed it. Despite being told to let go of the bag, Daniels held on even after being handcuffed.
The scuffle escalated with a crowd of people surrounding Daniels and the officers. As the police attempted to place him in a police car, the defendant continued to struggle, allegedly gripping an officer by the throat.
Daniels was eventually taken to the Hamilton Police Station, where he remained in custody until appearing in court this morning.
Addressing the court, Daniels said some aspects of the incident as described by the prosecution were not accurate, but he added that he could have handled the situation differently and apologised.
Asked by Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo if his actions were worth the time he had spent in custody, Daniels said no.
Noting that Daniels had no previous convictions and the assault appeared to be minor, Mr Tokunbo gave the defendant an absolute discharge, saying: “I would like to think that you have learnt your lesson since you have been in custody for more than 24 hours.
“I’m not going to convict you. Don’t come back again.”
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