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Mar 25, 2019

An Off Duty Officer is Assaulted & His Serviced Weapon Stolen

An off duty cop was assaulted in Belize City around three o’clock on Saturday morning. The entertainment strip was buzzing with activity as Police Constable Mark Martinez was driving his private vehicle. As he drove pass Marina Towers, he honked his horn when another vehicle blocked his path on Princess Margaret Drive. That action triggered an assault on the officer by three persons, who exited a vehicle, struck him across the head and took his service weapon, which he had on him even though Martinez was not on duty. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

On Saturday morning, an off-duty police officer was assaulted on the entertainment strip. Police Constable Mark Martinez can be seen bleeding from the head and walking towards a vehicle. Shortly after, he is approached by officers, assisted into a police pickup truck and taken to the hospital for the wound he sustained to the back of his head. But was it a case of road rage that led to his assault?  In another video the sound of gunshots is heard; reports are that Martinez took out his licensed firearm and fired warning shots. Here’s what ComPol Chester Williams had to say.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“There are several things that I would have to look at in terms of whether or not the persons with whom he had the issue knew that he was police at that particular time. What led to the situation based on what you said just now that he was in a road rage…I think I was told that he was driving, some vehicle stopped in front of him and he blew his horn and the persons from the vehicle came out and they were charging at him. He took out his gun and fired two warning shots. Is it reasonable for him to have done so? I could say yes and I could say no. it depends on how he feels at that particular time. Did he feel like his life was in danger? If you are attacked and you have a gun on you…more than likely your attackers would disarm you and that surely would put your life in danger. And so it could be that he took out the firearm with a view to ward them off, but instead of warding off, they continued to charge at him and he was eventually knocked out and his firearm taken.”

 

Ashley Haylock

Today, twenty-seven-year-old Ladyville resident Ashley Haylock was arraigned for theft of a police man gun and the common assault of an officer before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. Allegations are that he dishonestly appropriated a Taurus brand nine millimetre pistol valued at two thousand eight hundred dollars, the property of the Government of Belize which was stolen from Police Constable Martinez.  In court, Haylock was unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to both charges.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“A male person by the name of Ashley Haylock, twenty-seven-years-old from Ladyville was charged for theft and one count of common assault.”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo says that the firearm was returned to the police by a concerned citizen this morning. Haylock was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May thirteenth, 2019.

But ComPol Williams says that he is also looking at how Martinez was in possession of the government issued firearm even though he was off duty.

 

Chester Williams

“We have a policy that deals with officers who take firearms home after working hours; firearms that belong to the department. So we will have to review that policy to see whether or not there was a breach of that policy where the officer is concerned. And if there was a breach then he will be dealt with for that internally. But that does not take away from the fact that he was assaulted and his firearm was stolen.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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