Light sentence for hitting policeman

POSTED: 08/30/13 12:25 PM

St. Maarten – Roy Ovine Benders had an encounter with the police on May 15 that he will remember. It all started with a traffic control on Welfare road near the Peking supermarket. The 37-year-old defendant had been drinking and he had also smoked a joint. When he asked police officers to jumpstart his car or to at least call a tow truck for him, they refused. Benders then jumped in the back of a police truck for a ride.

When officers ordered him out of their vehicle he resisted, then found himself arrested. That would not have been all that bad for what happened afterwards at the police station. Benders claimed in court that an officer pushed him and that he had reacted by taking a swing at him. He does not remember hitting the officer, but the policeman filed a complaint for ill-treatment.

According to the police report, Benders threatened to shoot the police officers, he threatened to have sex with their parents and he called them homosexuals. “You were very angry and insulted everyone,” Judge Koos van de Ven noted drily.

Prosecutor Dounia Benammar told the court that the defendant had been aggressive and that he had thumped a police officer-in-training in his face and that he had also kicked him. “The police are not there to jumpstart cars or to call tow trucks. When motorists don’t pay the tow truck the police are stuck with the bill, so they have a standing order not to do this,” she said. “The defendant thumped an officer in his face in an aggressive mood.”

The prosecutor demanded 5 weeks imprisonment, with 4 weeks suspended and 2 years of probation.

Benders’ attorney Shaira Bommel maintained that her client had not intentionally thumped the policeman. Was pushed and he hit the officer, but he did not kick him. I ask the court to consider all this. None of this should have happened.”

Judge Van de Ven acquitted Benders of kicking the policeman but sentenced him for hitting him in the face. “You have to cooperate with the police,” he said.

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