A suspect who was detained Wednesday after police said he attacked Department of Environment Officers, illegally took lobster and conch and then stole a government truck, was released by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service that same night.
Department of Environment officials said it was their understanding that the release was done inadvertently, and that the man was now back in custody.
The RCIPS released the following statement on the incident: “As is normal practice in such cases, once the suspect has been processed and the necessary checks completed, he was released on police bail.
“It was only after his release that the full circumstances of the criminal matters relating to the incident came to light. As such, he has now been rearrested in relation to those matters. He is now in police custody on suspicion of assault, threatening violence and disorderly conduct.
“We are currently looking at all of the circumstances to ensure that where lessons need to be learned we take the appropriate action.”
The 52-year-old suspect, who is not being named because he has not been formally charged was re-arrested after nearly 24 hours at large, DOE officers said.
“I think the guy who made error…saw ‘contact DOE’ on the file and assumed that it was appropriate to bail the suspect to come back on Saturday,” said DOE Chief Enforcement Officer Mark Orr, who added that the officer may not have been aware of the seriousness of the suspect’s offences.
Aroud 2pm on Wednesday, three environment officers confronted a man on the shoreline near the Pirate’s Lair in South Sound. Police said the man was suspected of taking conch and lobster from a marine life replenishment zone.
As officers approached the suspect, he lashed out at them with a hook stick, cutting one of the officers on his forearm. The man then took a Department of Environment vehicle, parked nearby and ran.
A short time later the suspect was spotted by police on patrol, stopped and arrested on suspicion of traffic and marine conservation offences.