PHILIPSBURG–Four suspects, two men and two women who were all born in the Dominican Republic, appeared before a Judge in the Court of First Instance on Wednesday, charged with involvement in a big fight on St. Maarten Day, November 11, 2016.
Suspects Librado Gumbs (46), Nicaudi Gerardo (33), Santa Gerardo (52) and S.J.V.M. (36) were also charged with resisting their arrests.
Reason for the brawl on Back Street was a complaint filed by Nicaudi Gerardo against fellow Back Street resident J.G.G.D., who she accused of rape and lechery committed against her minor daughter.
According to Gerardo, she and her friends were angry as the complaints filed against her neighbour had not led to any investigations. Prosecutor Nanouk Lemmers explained during the trial that the criminal investigation against J.G.G.D. had been dismissed for lack of evidence.
During the fight J.G.G.D. went at his assailants with a machete. The four suspects retaliated by throwing rocks and bottles at the man. A kitchen door and the windshield of a car were damaged in the process.
The brawl escalated even further when the Police arrived on the scene to stop the fight. One of the officers proved to be J.G.G.D.’s son-in-law, which angered the four suspects even further.
The Prosecutor found it legally and convincingly proven that Santa Gerardo had committed public violence, had resisted her arrest and had stolen a Police radio. For these crimes she called for 80 hours of community service.
The Prosecutor found it proven that Nicaudi Gerardo and Gumbs were guilty of public violence and of resisting their arrest, and asked for 60 hours of community service in their cases. Vasquez Mateo, who did not participate in the fight, would have to perform 20 hours of community service for resisting his arrest, the Prosecutor stated.
The Judge, however, did not find the resisting arrest charge proven, which led to the suspects’ acquittal of this charge.
According to the Court, it seemed as if due to his personal involvement in the incident the Police Officer had exerted violence against the suspects and not in his capacity as a member of the Force.
Therefore, the Judge decided to drop this charge against all four suspects, which led to Vasquez Mateo’s full acquittal. The other three suspects were sentenced to 50 hours of community service, 25 hours of which were suspended, on two years’ probation, for public violence.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/63870-two-men-and-two-women-on-trial-for-st-maarten-day-fight