By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
A 25-YEAR-OLD Cat Island local government official has alleged he was beaten by police and denied medical treatment in Long Island.
Jason Jasper Russell further claimed despite being released without any court charges, police are now alleging he committed a number of offences following his formal complaint of the incident to the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Complaints and Corruption Unit.
He claimed in an interview yesterday that the assault, which left him with a face injury, chest and head trauma, a back injury and abrasions about the body, was committed by plain clothes officers as well as at least one officer in uniform.
The ordeal unfolded on Long Island more than a week ago during what was supposed to be a trip to a local “hangout” to meet his girlfriend’s parents. The night quickly took a wrong turn after he said he watched a woman, believed to be a police officer in plain clothes, follow his girlfriend into the bathroom.
After a brief argument, Mr Russell said he along with his girlfriend and her father went outside, but re-entered the establishment under the impression that the incident was over.
“About five minutes later when I looked, some guys, they came and rushed up on me,” Mr Russell, a licensed aircraft and marine technician, said.
“I didn’t know who they were, but when I look and spin around, this girl came back with a police officer in uniform saying I lock up. I asked what for?
“Then one of the guys in plain clothes slapped me. After he slapped me then the crowd began to separate and I heard someone say ‘put the cuffs on him’. They locked me up and put me in the bus and took me to (the) station and beat me a couple hours later,” he claimed.
“I was trying to get a doctor to see me and I requested a call or whatever and they denied me medical help.
“They were not allowing me to make any calls. They kept saying they would allow me to make a call because they are supposed to offer the call and they denied me calls, they denied me help.
“Plus, when I called my parents and told them what happened, they called the station and asked to speak to the officer in charge. They were told they couldn’t speak to him because he won’t be in until tomorrow and we could try back tomorrow.
“So, after being denied help and can’t speak to the officer in charge they let me out at around 1pm on Sunday and we got a flight and went to Doctors Hospital and got a report.”
Soon after, he said, they went to file a complaint and that’s when he learned he was facing charges.
“They started putting charges on me that I didn’t even do,” he claimed. “They put like obstruction of justice and resisting arrest and threats of death and all kinds of stuff they trying to put on me and I didn’t even do that.
“They attacked me. So, now I am in the position where I need resolve because they are falsely accusing me of things I didn’t do and that woman tried to assault my girl in the bathroom,” he alleged.
“All this because a woman who claims she is a police out of uniform then she called the other guys who was police and wasn’t in uniform.
“So, a bunch of people attacked me out of uniform and then they took me to the station and put in false statements or whatever and now they trying to arrest me like I do something.
“They didn’t even charge me. They just let me out, didn’t charge me and they thought I was going to stay there or whatever because I needed medical help I couldn’t stay there. They beat me for nothing.”
Mr Russell went on to raise questions about the charges he now faces.
“I need help at this point because they are trying to falsely accuse me because if I really did do something they would have charged me and sent me to court. They know I did nothing.
“I have never been in trouble. I’ve been away to school in America and all of that and the same day I go to meet my girlfriend’s parents, I get in problems?
“You think I would act bad in front of people I just met to leave a bad impression?”
He fears his reputation could be tarnished in the long-term.
“I am a local government representative. I have my own business. I was a tourist in Long Island and I don’t even move like that.
“I am a licensed aircraft technician and a marine technician. I started my business. I help with the family business.”
Mr Russell called for a full investigation into what transpired.
Attempts to reach Royal Bahamas Police Force Commissioner Paul Rolle and Deputy Commissioner Clayton Fernander were unsuccessful up to press time.
When he was contacted, Assistant Commissioner Leamond Deleveaux referred this newspaper to Commissioner Rolle.