SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Mon. Feb. 5, 2018– After a heated political confrontation out west last week, an unrepresented Michael Lemus, 18, appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford today in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court.
He pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated assault and two counts of use of threatening words. He was offered bail of $1,500 and ordered to return to court on April 5, 2018.
Police reports revealed that last Thursday, Earl Trapp, the mayor of Santa Ignacio-Santa Elena, reported that at around 6:15 p.m. he was campaigning with several councilors on Alta Vista Street in San Ignacio Town when a taxi with Benque Viejo Del Carmen license plates stopped a few feet from them.
Trapp told police that a passenger inside the taxi started using insulting words and threatening him.
Trapp further reported that a traffic officer intervened and that the passenger, who appeared to be Lemus, then pulled out a machete and pointed it towards the officer, while making threats.
A struggle ensued, during which Lemus was relieved of the machete.
According to Trapp, at no time was he involved in any physical altercation with Lemus. He claimed that he did not respond to the verbal attacks made against him. He claimed his only involvement was in contacting the San Ignacio police station for assistance.
As a result, Lemus was arrested and charged.
On Friday, Lemus’ mother, Aranelly Lemus, reported that her son had been badly beaten by several of the UDP campaigners.
According to her, she learned of the incident from her common-law husband and when she went to the scene, she saw her son in the pan of a police pickup truck. He was bleeding from his mouth, his eyes were bruised and there was an open wound on his back, she said.
She told the press that her son told her he was dragged out of the taxi and beaten simply because he told the campaigners, “PUP got my back.”