Five accused of damaging police vehicle and injuring officers bailed

Miguelina Germosen, Frank Carlos, Celonda Santos, Iverson Valdez de Oleo and Yensi Uribe De Los Santos leaving the St John’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday afternoon (Photo by Observer’s Elesha George)
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By Elesha George

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Five people apparently involved in a fracas with police on Sunday night in St Johnston’s Village have been granted bail.

The incident involving Miguelina Germosen, Frank Carlos, Celonda Santos, Iverson Valdez de Oleo and Yensi Uribe De Los Santos resulted in the destruction of a police vehicle and injuries to two police officers.

On June 20, the police were said to have engaged with the quintet who were reportedly in breach of social gathering protocols.

They were collectively charged with a number of offences to include battery on police, obstruction, assault, throwing missiles, two counts of assault on police and two counts of resisting arrest.

De Los Santos was additionally charged with failure to comply with lawful directions from the police and blocking the road.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Conliffe Clarke granted each of them $20,000 bail.

As part of their bail conditions, each of the accused is expected to fork over $2,000 cash, provide two sureties who are citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, surrender all their travel documents, remain resident at their St Johnston’s Village home, and sign in at a police station four times per week.

They have until midday today to pay the cash component of the bail.

During Wednesday’s hearing, the attorney representing the five accused, Wendel Robinson, noted his intention to hold the police to certain standards that govern how and when force should be applied, adding that breaching any of these policies constitutes a disciplinary offence.

One of the police officers who was allegedly injured during the incident, entered the court on crutches after claiming to have dislocated his knee during the altercation. Robinson, who said the situation was “poorly handled by the police”, also noted that some of his clients had sustained injuries as well.

A Spanish interpreter was used to translate the court’s directions to the quintet. They will reappear before the court on September 21.

Meanwhile, Robinson has set aside plans to file a constitutional motion against the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda for unlawfully detaining his clients.

Moments after they left the St John’s Magistrates’ Court, the five accused were ushered into police vehicles and transported to the Langford’s Police Station where they were to be questioned about the incident.

Robinson, who intended to file a habeas corpus because of the police’s actions, was however successful in making representation on behalf of his clients, who were released shortly after.

They are likely to be questioned at a later date about the malicious damage to the police vehicle.

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