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Ex-police officer charged with assaulting former deputy COP ag

Ex-police officer charged with assaulting former deputy COP ag

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Former Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Lenroy Brewster described in court, earlier this week, how he had to defend himself, when he was allegedly struck in the chest with a glass bottle, by an ex-police officer.{{more}}

Brewster, now the chief of Port Police and Port Facility Safety officer, appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to testify in the matter where ex-police officer, Andy Richards, faces charges of assault, indecent language, possession of an offensive weapon and damage to property.

Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias is expected to rule on the matter on Monday, September 30.

In his testimony, Brewster told the court that on May 25, 2012, he was at Heritage Square, where a regular weekend function is held.

He noted that at about 10:05 p.m., it began raining, so he sought shelter under a tent near a bridge. Brewster said while sitting on one of the pillars of the bridge, he saw the defendant sitting on a bench under the tent.

The former cop said as it began to rain heavier, persons got closer to each other to avoid getting wet.

Brewster said a man was standing close to where Richards was.

“Richards said to the man, ‘I don’t want no bullerman come close to me’.”

Brewster said the man replied, “I ain’t no bullerman; you the bullerman.”

According to Brewster, Richards threatened to slap the man if he spoke to him again.

“The man told Richards if he slapped him, he (the man) will slap him back. Richards got up from where he was and gave him a violent slap on the left side of his face. He tried to strike back Richards, but other persons intervened.”

Brewster further testified that he got up from where he was sitting, went to Richards and asked him why he had to strike the young man.

He said he told Richards he was arresting him, to which he said the man replied “You na no police again. You can’t lock me up. Hall yo mother (expletive).”

Brewster added that two police officers came over and held onto Richards. Brewster said while they were attempting to restrain Richards, he (Richards) pulled a Hairoun Beer bottle from a crate nearby and struck him (Brewster) in his chest with it.

“I defended myself and struck him across the neck. He pulled away, but I held him and told both men (Richards and the other man) to accompany me to the police station,” he said. Brewster said Richards began pulling away from him again, and the two police officers came to his assistance and took Richards to the central police station.

In his testimony, Richards told the court that while at Heritage Square, he was talking to a friend, whom he said was touching him so frequently that he had became uncomfortable.

Richards said he asked the man to desist from touching him, but the man continued and he pushed him away.

He said at the same time, Brewster came and inquired what was taking place. Richards said before he got the chance to give an account of what had taken place, other persons came and gave their accounts of what had taken place.

The former police officer said Brewster held on to him and asked “Why the (expletive) you slap him?”

Richards said he pulled away from Brewster and told him not to embarrass him; he’s no longer a police.

He told the court that Brewster said “You rude. Ah have a mind to slap you to (expletive) back.”

Richards added that Brewster then slapped him on the left side of his head. At that point, Richards said he held on to Brewster’s T-shirt, but could not do anything because of Brewster’s strength.

He said a police officer, Constable Chewitt, came and held on to his pants, and another officer, PC Derek Humphrey, also came over.

“Humphrey say, you fighting the deputy, you too (expletive) rude, somebody have to deal with you…”

Richards told the court when he turned to talk to Chewitt, he felt a blow to the temple and when he turned around, he saw Humphrey.

Richards further testified that when he was taken to the Central Police Station, he requested medical attention. He also stated that he was placed in handcuffs after he was told he was not behaving in a calm manner. Richards is also charged with damaging a piece of perspex while at the Criminal Investigations Department reception area.

Under cross-examination, Crown Counsel Karim Nelson asked Richards what was his stance on homosexuality, whether he was homophobic or pro-gay.

Richards indicated that he does not hate them, because he had to work with them in the Force.

Constable Humphrey, in his testimony, told the court that he heard when Richards told Brewster he could not lock him up. He further said while he was taking Richards to the police station, Richards said “Yo stinking mother (expletive). You is the Commissioner’s dog.”

A total of four prosecution witnesses testified in the matter. Duane Daniel represents Richards in the matter.(KW)

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