Police officers arresting H.S. at Congo Bar.
ST. EUSTATIUS–Suspect H.S., born in 1983, was arrested on Friday, May 7, for breaking the conditions of his release from pre-trial detention. Chief of Basic Police Care Inspector Robelto Hodge said S. is known to the police and the Justice Department for past violent offences, including ill-treatment with a machete.
On Friday, S. encountered a suspended police officer who was driving in Golden Rock where he partially blocked the officer’s vehicle with his scooter. The police officer was in his car with his elderly mother and S. aggressively went up to the officer and some words were exchanged.
Chief Hodge stated that S. was intoxicated and riding on a scooter without a driver’s licence. Based on this, the police sought out S. at Congo Bar and reprimanded him for his actions.
“In the course of reprimanding, S. was absolutely not cooperative when the officers were speaking to him and when we were leaving the scene, he made some very derogatory and insulting remarks to the officers on the scene,” Hodge said. S. was arrested for his remarks as it is punishable by law to degrade and insult officers on duty, Hodge explained.
S. resisted his arrest during a short but intense struggle to apprehend him. The arrest was recorded by bystanders. Hodge said some individuals did not agree with how the police executed the arrest.
“I would like to clarify that if an individual is placed under arrest for suspicion of having committed a crime, that individual is obligated to cooperate, and if they do not, the police are authorised to use the necessary force to execute that arrest. Of course, the force used has to be within proportion and necessity,” Hodge said.
S. was brought to the police station, questioned and subsequently released. Later that same day he was re-arrested on orders of the prosecutor for violating conditions for release.
S. has to appear before the judge for a case related to threats made against another police officer with a knife, for which he was arrested January 30, 2021. For this charge he was released on specific conditions. One of these conditions was that he would not commit any criminal acts during his release. S. is currently in custody again.
An investigating judge will be informed of what has taken place and if the judge agrees with the prosecutor S. will be transported to Judicial Institution Caribbean Netherlands JICN in Bonaire where he will remain incarcerated until his court date, but no decision has been taken as yet.
Chief Hodge said that the suspended officer who was on the scene had nothing to do with S.’ arrest and came to the location on his own. “The officer did not interfere with our actions. He was just standing there observing what was taking place.” The suspended officer is not working with the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN at this moment.
Bystanders who videotaped the incident claimed that the foot of one of the police officers had been on S.’s head when he was arrested, but Hodge denied that. “The video itself showed that we took the suspect and put him on his chest on the ground and we were on top of him, but at no moment did I have my foot on his head,” Hodge said.