Spectators then assaulted the plain-clothes, off-duty officer
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 25, 2019– Ashley Haylock, 27, a labourer of Ladyville who the police believe was one of two persons who stole a firearm from a police officer, was charged with theft when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford.
Haylock was also charged with common assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was denied bail in the first instance and remanded until May 13.
The incident occurred on Saturday, March 23, on Newtown Barracks. Constable Mark Martinez, who was off duty and not in uniform, reported that he was on his way home from duty at about 2:00 Saturday morning and was driving his private vehicle when a vehicle that was in front of him came to a stop and Haylock, whom he recognized in a crowd that was on the side of the street, began to speak with the driver.
Corporal Martinez blarred his horn to encourage the vehicle to move on, but three men who were on the sidewalk began to disrespect him.
The lawman stopped his car and one of the men approached him while he was in his vehicle and punched him in his face. Martinez got out of the vehicle, but one of the men attacked him and tried to take away his gun, and there was a struggle with the man.
The corporal manage to free himself and fired a warning shot his police-issued 9mm pistol, but one of the men grabbed the pistol and another man beat the officer in the head, reportedly choking him from behind, causing him to fall to the street. The three men quickly got into a vehicle and drove away with the cop’s firearm.
Martinez said others in the crowd then joined in and began to beat him. He said they then fled the scene.
Police took Corporal Martinez to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and later released.
During the regular police press brief held this afternoon at the Queen Street Police station, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that the officer was not wearing a uniform, and that the robbers may not have known who he was.
Williams said that when the suspect became aware that a stolen police firearm was in his possession, he made contact with a man and gave the firearm to him, and the man took the firearm to police.
The suspect then went to the Ladyville Police Station and handed himself in.
The firearm has been recovered.