A man accused of assaulting a police inspector at a traffic stop Dec. 10 last year appeared in court Tuesday, where the defendant’s lawyer suggested the incident occurred because the police officer had lost his temper and acted inappropriately.

Inspector Ian Yearwood, a 27-year veteran of the Cayman Islands police force and head of the police’s traffic unit, had trouble explaining why aggravated and profane comments by Mark Blake during the traffic stop amounted to disorderly conduct. The court heard that Mr. Yearwood ordered Blake out of the car he was riding in after Blake made the comments. Blake resisted and a struggle ensued.

“Where does it say that by the use of emphatic language, he has committed an offense?” asked Blake’s attorney Anthony Akiwumi.

Inspector Yearwood, seemingly unable to answer the question, stood silently in the courtroom.

“I’m going to suggest,” Mr. Akiwumi later said, “what happened that night, Inspector Yearwood, is you lost your cool.”

The inspector denied that assessment.

Blake was never charged with disorderly conduct. He is on trial for assault.

Inspector Yearwood testified that Blake punched him in the mouth as he attempted to pull Blake from the passenger side of the vehicle he was in. The inspector said he sprayed Blake with pepper spray after Blake hit him.

Camera phone video shot by the car’s driver seemed to contradict that testimony. Mr. Akiwumi said it was clear from the images that Blake was pepper sprayed while still in the vehicle and before any punch was thrown.

Testimony originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was delayed until Monday, Oct. 23.

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