A police officer was injured Saturday night after being struck by a hit-and-run driver at a roadblock in West Bay.
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne condemned the incident as a “disturbing attack” on an officer performing his duties. The victim was treated at the Cayman Islands Hospital for injuries sustained in the incident and has since been discharged.
The driver pulled into the roadblock on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, close to Yacht Drive, around 11:30 p.m., according to a police press release. The officer exited a marked police car and approached the vehicle, a dark sedan, and attempted to speak to the driver and passenger. When he got no response, he moved to the front of the vehicle to check the license plate.
“The driver of the vehicle then drove off and struck the officer with the car, then sped off and broke through the roadblock entering into West Bay,” according to the statement.
Police described the incident as a “reckless and unwarranted attack on a police officer carrying out his lawful duty, which could have resulted in serious injury and even the loss of life.”
In a later statement, Commissioner Byrne spoke out about the attack and called for anyone with information to come forward.
He said, “Such incidents threaten the relationship between law enforcement and the community, and negatively impact everyone’s safety. The matter is now under investigation and every effort is being made to locate and prosecute the offender.”
It is not the first time in his two-year tenure as commissioner that Commissioner Byrne has been compelled to speak out about acts of violence against his officers.
In May 2017, two police officers responding to a burglary report in George Town were violently attacked by a suspect. In October the same year, Detective Superintendent Peter Lansdown suffered serious injuries after being assaulted at the scene of a traffic accident. Earlier this year, two police cars were set on fire in a suspected arson attack.
Anyone who can identify the vehicle involved in Saturday’s hit-and-run or its two occupants is asked to call George Town Police Station at 949-4222. Tips can also be submitted at www.rcips.ky/submit-a-tip, through the RCIPS Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777 or through Crime Stoppers at 800-8477.