Crime — 22 October 2013 — by Kareem Clarke
Cop criminally charged after domestic dispute

Occasionally, law enforcement officers have been caught on the wrong side of the law. One such case occurred late last month, and today the accused officer was made to face charges at the Magistrate’s Court in Belize City.

28-year-old police constable Ronald Sutherland was slapped with three criminal charges after allegedly abusing his common-law wife. Tanisha Ortiz, of a Police Street address in Belize City, made a report to the police on September 26, 2013, in which she stated that Sutherland, who is her common-law husband, assaulted her with a machete, causing a wound, and also threatened her life after the two got into an altercation at her Police Street home.

Sutherland was subsequently apprehended and charged by his fellow officers for the offense of aggravated assault and wounding. He was additionally charged for using threatening words after he allegedly told Ortiz “Bi—h, I wa move from yah, but I wa kill yu first tonight.”

Sutherland pled not guilty to all three charges, and Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith offered him bail of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He was also ordered not to go anywhere near Tanisha Ortiz, or her family. Other conditions of his bail were that he must not leave the country without the permission of the Court; he should not apply for any travel documents, such as a passport, without the Court’s permission; and he must also report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The case was then adjourned until December 6, 2013, and Ronald Sutherland was eventually able to meet bail.

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