A man who falsely reported to police that he had been assaulted and robbed was penalized $500 in Summary Court on Tuesday.
Erik Alejandro Rodriquez, 32, pleaded guilty after Magistrate Valdis Foldats put the charge to him – that on May 24, 2018, he made a false report of the commission of an offense.
Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson said Mr. Rodriquez attended the George Town Police Station that morning and told officers that he had been held up at knifepoint and robbed of his vehicle.
The defendant reported that he had been traveling toward George Town on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway the night before when he saw a vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard warning lights on.
He said he stopped to offer assistance and spoke to a female in the car.
While doing so, he alleged, he was approached by a male who punched him and then pulled a knife, demanding his car keys. The man then drove away in Mr. Rodriquez’s car and the female followed in the car she had been driving.
Mr. Rodriquez said his cellphone was dead, so he walked home.
At the police station, he agreed to take an officer to the scene of the alleged incident. While they were still at the station, however, word was received that Mr. Rodriquez’s vehicle had been found parked behind the Grand Pavilion.
He and the officer went there and Mr. Rodriquez subsequently admitted that he had been in an accident and had panicked.
“Sorry for lying,” he told the officer.
Interviewed three days later, he submitted a prepared statement, admitting that he been involved in a one-car accident, panicked and made the report.
The magistrate noted that the false report was made at 9:09 a.m. and Mr. Rodriquez was arrested at 10:52 a.m. after his confession.
He said he was sure that the defendant realized how serious the offense was. He had provided detailed descriptions of the man and woman allegedly involved in what he said had happened to him.
“Think about the consequences. Innocent people could have been arrested,” he told Mr. Rodriquez.
In addition, police resources had been wasted in taking the report and going to the scene.
The magistrate questioned whether he could make a compensation order to the police department, but then decided that a fine and costs assessment would go into the country’s general revenue.
He said the defendant, in Cayman on work permit since 2014 as a chef, had been a responsible and productive resident. He also noted that Mr. Rodriquez had pleaded guilty at his first court appearance.
For those reasons, he imposed a fine of $300 and imposed costs of $200, for a total of $500.