In his haste to avoid a breach of curfew charge a 45-year-old mechanic racked up a number of traffic offences and the very charge he was seeking to escape.
When Wayne Mervin Stuart, of Waterhall Land, Eagle Hall, St Michael saw police in his community around 7:15 p.m. on Monday, he sped off. The siren and beacon were turned on but he did not stop.
Lawmen followed him onto Waterhall Land and observed him swerving in the roadway in a reckless manner. He then drove on to Pasture Road without stopping at a major stop then onto Kew Road where he failed to observe a second stop sign. He crashed into the side of road damaging his motor car MA394 and finally came to a stop.
Stuart’s ten minutes of trying to evade police resulted in eight charges – driving without due care and attention as well as without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road; driving in a manner dangerous to the public, failing to stop at two major stops, driving without a licence and failing to stop at the approach of a police vehicle sounding a siren. He was also charged with breaching Paragraph (3) subparagraph (1) of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (CURFEW) (NO. 5) Directive by remaining outside during curfew.
He told police: “Officer I see wunna turn through the gap and it frighten me because it was after curfew. So, I tried to get away so I would not get charged.”
Explaining himself to Magistrate Elwood Watts, he said “I wasn’t far from home.” Stuart, whose driver’s licence expired over a year ago, added that at first, he did not believe the police “was for me” as another vehicle had passed him.
“You got this charge because you ignored the siren and sped off. If you stopped you could have explained that you going home which was right there,” the magistrate informed him. “You shouldn’t have run from the police.”
For failing to have a driver’s licence and stopping at the sound of the siren, Stuart was fined $150 each. Driving through the major traffic sign cost him $250 while he was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the other as well as the dangerous driving charge. Breaking curfew was another $250 and driving without due care and attention $500 – for a total of $1 300.
He paid the amount forthwith to the District ‘C’ Magistrates’ Court.