BELVEDERE–Police and Gendarmes had “an incident” Thursday afternoon when a vehicle driving in French Quarter refused to stop during a routine traffic control conducted by the Gendarmes patrol. An orange car drove past the traffic stop and headed straight for the Belvedere border where similar controls by the Dutch-side police Multi-Disciplinary Team were taking place.
Police spokesman Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson said the driver of the fleeing vehicle had stopped his car close to where the police controls were taking place. The Gendarmes continued their pursuit, crossed the border into the Belvedere area and approached this vehicle.
“Several armed Gendarmes stepped out of their vehicle and attempted to arrest the driver by removing him from the vehicle by force. The Multi-Disciplinary Team immediately intervened in the matter by informing the Gendarmes that they were out of their jurisdiction and if they needed any assistance they should contact the police,” Henson stated.
“They were instructed to immediately refrain from any further actions or conducting any further investigation, which they did. In the meantime, several other vehicles from the Gendarmes with reinforcements arrived on the scene. This spectacle attracted a lot of attention from drivers passing by and people living in the neighbourhood.”
The Gendarmes informed the Dutch-side police officers on the scene that they were conducting an investigation and had ordered the driver of the vehicle to stop for a routine control and to have the vehicle searched, which the driver had refused to do and had taken off at high speed toward the Dutch side.
The Dutch-side police a searched the vehicle on request of the Gendarmes and a small amount of marijuana was found.
“The suspect was arrested on the spot and taken to the Philipsburg police station for further investigation,” Henson said. “The suspect was brought before an Acting Prosecutor who informed the Prosecutor-on-call of the situation. There was at no moment any confrontation between French and Dutch law enforcement officers. After the suspect was questioned and a hefty fine paid for the possession of the marijuana, the suspect was released, as there were no other legal reasons to keep him in custody.”
Questioned about the “incident,” Deputy Commandant Emmanuel Maignan said that as far as the Gendarmerie was concerned the arrest had turned out to be an example of good cooperation between Gendarmes and the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM.
“This wasn’t a problem for us,” he said. “The suspect was very dangerous, as he refused to stop for the control. We stopped at the border, but his car hit one of our Gendarmerie vehicles and that ended with Gendarmes arresting him just 10 metres across the border on the Dutch side. The KPSM on the other side helped us with the arrest.
“I immediately called the KPSM to advise them of the situation. They said it was okay with them. So there was no problem for KPSM, no problem for us, and prosecutors from both sides had no problem. KPSM then took him to the Philipsburg police station.”
Source: Daily Herald
Update: Dutch and French officers in ‘incident’ at Belvedere border