Three incidents in which police officers were attacked or suffered injury while making an arrest were reported since Saturday, prompting a public warning from Royal Cayman Islands Police Service senior commanders.
The assaults follow a December attack on the head of the RCIPS traffic unit at a roadblock that broke two of the police inspector’s teeth.
“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,” Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton said. “This kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Those who assault police will find themselves in custody and in court.”
The attacks this weekend come shortly after a Jan. 6 incident in which a Jamaican criminal suspect was shot and killed by RCIPS officers.
The first of three incidents over the weekend involved the driver of a car that had turned on its side early Saturday in Bodden Town’s Northward area. Police said the driver had gotten out of the car and officers could smell alcohol on his breath. “The man became very belligerent with the officers and an altercation ensued during which the man severely bit one officer on the leg and kicked the other,” a police statement read.
The 34-year-old driver was arrested and charged with DUI, assaulting police, assault causing actual bodily harm, resisting arrest and failing to provide a specimen. He was due in court Monday.
On Saturday evening, police responded to a disturbance call at Caribbean Bakery in West Bay. Police said two men and a woman were drinking alcohol at the back of the building. One of the three had an outstanding warrant. Officers told the man he was under arrest, after which he began resisting, police said.
“A woman in his company pulled at the arm of one of the officers and was informed to stop or pepper spray would be deployed,” police said. “The man then spat at officers and the woman again moved to intervene and pepper spray was deployed. In the course of her arrest, the woman slapped and spat at one of the officers, while the man continued to struggle with officers while in handcuffs, fell to the ground, and spat at officers.”
The 33-year-old was arrested on suspicion of assaulting police, causing fear or provocation of violence, resisting arrest, and for an outstanding warrant for possession of an illegal speargun. The woman, 53, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, assaulting police and obstructing police.
Early Monday, armed RCIPS officers responded to a burglary call on Old Crewe Road in George Town. Officers spotted a man standing behind a tree near the property and ordered him not to move, police said. The suspect scaled a nearby wall, police said, escaping the grip of a police officer who managed to track him down. The officer suffered a broken finger as a result.