Berbice driver facing 14 traffic offences alleges police brutality

Magistrate Krisndat Persaud ordered a hire car driver to appear in the New Amsterdam Court on November 21 after he pleaded not guilty to 14 traffic charges and alleged police brutality.

Christopher Chatapaul was charged with the traffic offences allegedly committed at various locations on October 8. The man then told the court that police ranks had beaten him and as such the court advised him to seek medical attention and to return on the said date for report and fixture.

Police told the court that Chatapaul, driving hire care number HB 5753, permitted the said vehicle to remain at rest in such a position likely to cause obstruction along Strand Public Road. He is also accused of failure to produce his driver’s licence to Special Constable  13601 Roy George; failure to give the right of way; failure to stop when instructed to do so; driving dangerously along Main Street and along Sheet Anchor, East Canje; failure to comply with public discretion; failure to conform to signs on Asylum Street and North Road; using a hand-held mobile device while driving; crossing yellow lines; failure to behave in a civil and orderly manner; resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.

Further, police said that Chatapaul obstructed traffic on the Strand Public Road; one of three main thoroughfares in New Amsterdam. He was advised of this and asked to produce his licence which he failed to do. Moments later, the man allegedly drove through St Ann Street in the Berbice Township and on the approach of an approved police vehicle, failed to stop and allow the vehicle to pass. He then allegedly drove in a dangerous manner along Main Street and into Asylum Street where he failed to conform to the ‘Stop’ sign and did the same as he motored along North Road.

Chatapaul is also accused of using his mobile phone while driving along Vryheid Street and along the Fort Canje Public Road, where he crossed the yellow lines. At East Canje, police said the man behaved in an uncivilised manner and resisted and assaulted Constable George and David Layne when they approached him.

The Magistrate, who did not pronounce on bail or allow the accused to sign a recognizance, asked whether the traffic ranks spent the day driving behind the defendant as he committed the offences.

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