A Virgin Gorda man who reportedly came close to seriously injuring a police officer because of a so-called fear of being stunned with the cop’s taser gun has been found guilty of resisting arrest and failure to comply with an order given by a police officer.
Magistrate Shawn Innocent convicted Shem Samuel last week and fined him $500 on each of the charges.
The offender was ordered to pay the fines in two months or, in default, serve 60 days at Her Majesty’s Prison.
Before his conviction, Samuel testified in court that he knew the feeling of being tased and did not want to experience it again.
“I feared for my life,” said Samuel while recalling the October 2016 incident.
The court heard that during a police patrol in the Valley on Virgin Gorda, officers noticed that Samuel was driving without a seat belt and signalled for him to stop. The motorist complied.
When they approached the vehicle, the court heard that Samuel did not want to provide his name and address nor did he want to give the officers his driver’s license.
He was then informed that he was under arrest for the offence of failing to comply with an order given by a police officer.
However, Samuel resisted the two officers who tried to get him out of the vehicle to arrest him.
It was during the struggle, that one officer instructed the other to deploy his taser gun on Samuel to subdue him.
The court heard that Samuel immediately drove off while one officer’s body was still halfway inside the vehicle.
The officer made a quick manoeuvre to avoid serious injury.
Samuel was later arrested and charged.
In handing down his sentence, Magistrate Shawn Innocent described Samuel’s actions as a ‘careless and senseless’ act that could have resulted in the police officer being seriously incapacitated.
He told Samuel that the police were only doing their job and he should not take it personally.
Samuel was not represented in the matter.
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