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Sep 26, 2019

Teenage Escapee Resists Arrest, Five Police Officers Manhandle Her

Amateur video of Belize City police physically roughing up a teenage escapee on North Front Street on Wednesday evening has gone viral on social media and many are up in arms over the manhandling of the female minor.  The teen, who is in the custody of the youth hostel on the George Price Highway, was one of several residents to have escaped from the facility in August.  When police caught up with her near Majestic Alley on Wednesday, they attempted to apprehend her but things went south rather quickly and ended with the young lady being choked and punched before being placed in handcuffs.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Princess Royal Youth Hostel is home to a handful of teenage girls who are under the care of the Community Rehabilitation Department.  On August tenth, as many as eleven of them escaped from the facility, followed by another group of six residents, a week and a half later.  Many of them have been recaptured and returned to the shelter.  On Wednesday afternoon, a pair of police officers encountered one of the runaway teens in the vicinity of Pinks Alley and attempted to detain her.  That effort quickly turned into a scuffle with the female minor who resisted arrest.  Three more officers appeared on the scene shortly thereafter and attempted to subdue the young lady, clearly manhandling her as she attempted to ward off her captors.  The entire episode was captured on amateur video, complete with a litany of expletives being hurled by the arresting officers who are seen here using what appears to be excessive force in restraining the escapee.

 

The incident is a poor reflection on the Belize Police Department, as not only did the officers fail to execute their duty without the use of unnecessary force, they also threatened her with bodily harm while making the arrest.  If that was not bad enough, despite public outcry from onlookers and passersby, one of the officers held the teenager in a chokehold before attempting shackle her wrists with a handcuff.  With all that was being done to overpower her, the young lady, who we will not identify by name, still managed to escape from custody before being detained sometime later.

 

This afternoon, News Five spoke with Starla Bradley, Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department.  She informed us over the phone that the resident has since been returned to the facility where she is being provided with necessary attention following the incident.  In the absence of a police press brief today, it is unclear what, if any, measures will be taken against the arresting officers, notwithstanding their mandate to capture and safely return escapees.  Likewise, there is no word to the media whether an investigation has been launched into the altercation.  We note that on the night of August twentieth, six young girls absconded from the Princess Royal Youth Hostel after a confrontation with police during which a mobile pickup was badly damaged when it was stoned with rocks.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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