A visitor with relatives in Cayman was released on bail with a curfew on Monday after spending the weekend in custody for charges that included driving under the influence of alcohol and assaulting police.
Omar Pineda Banegas, 32, appeared in Summary Court, where he pleaded guilty to driving a Toyota 4Runner when his alcohol-in-breath level was 0.195. The legal limit in Cayman is 0.100. Mr. Pineda Banegas pleaded guilty to three other traffic charges as well, all arising from an incident that occurred on Saturday, Aug. 11, shortly before 2:30 a.m.
A Royal Cayman Islands Police Service press release issued about the incident indicated that officers responded to a report of a single vehicle collision in the vicinity of Boatswains Bay Road, West Bay, where a Toyota 4Runner had exited the roadway.
The release stated that officers arrived and spoke to a man who identified himself as the driver of the vehicle. He appeared unsteady on his feet and showed other signs of intoxication, police said. When asked to provide his driver’s license, he stated that he did not have one.
Police said that he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and while being placed in the police vehicle, he began to act in an aggressive manner, kicking one of the officers. He was taken into custody and breath tested. It was later determined that he had been driving the vehicle without permission.
Appearing before Magistrate Valdis Foldats late Monday, and with the help of a Spanish interpreter, Mr. Pineda Banegas pleaded guilty to the DUI, taking and driving a conveyance without the consent of the owner, careless driving and driving without being licensed.
Defense attorney Margeta Facey-Clarke asked that the charge of assaulting police not be put. She suggested that the defendant’s behavior could be considered part of being under the influence of alcohol.
She also noted that he was staying with relatives in Bodden Town and the vehicle he had taken belonged to his sister. Another relative was in court and prepared to act as surety, the attorney advised.
The magistrate observed that the assault charge was not in the correct form and he asked if it made sense for the Crown to review it. Crown counsel Garcia Kelly agreed.
The magistrate said he would release Mr. Pineda Banegas on bail, but only with conditions. They included residence at a specified address, curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., prohibition from entering any liquor-licensed premises, disqualification from driving and a surety in the sum of $950.
The case was brought back on Tuesday morning, when Mr. Kelly told Magistrate Grace Donalds that the charge of assaulting police was being withdrawn since it was not in the public interest to pursue the matter by way of trial.
With the defendant expected to be on island until September, sentencing was adjourned on the traffic charges until Aug. 21. Magistrate Donalds emphasized that the bail conditions, including curfew, would remain in effect.