x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Tourist who hit officer gets six-month sentence

He was arrested during a drunken New Year's Eve rampage, prosecutors say.

DUBAI // A 27-year-old tourist who came to Dubai to celebrate New Year's Eve will spend six months in prison after a Dubai court found him guilty of assaulting a police officer on duty.

The American FA had been drinking alcohol when the incident happened and was fined Dh1,000 for consuming liquor, the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours said on Sunday.

He denied the charges in March and said the officers beat him up for no reason.

Prosecutors said FA threw a punch at the officer, AH, when he was trying to take him into police custody, records show.

Police received a report on December 31 about a drunk man creating a disturbance near the Address Hotel in Dubai Mall, records said.

Three officers responded and found FA kicking parked vehicles and harassing celebrators, records said. They added that FA’s clothes were torn.

AH testified that when police arrived about 2.30am on January 1, they saw three men beating FA, trying to stop him from damaging the cars.

He said he and his two colleagues caught FA but he resisted and started kicking at the interior of the police car when they placed him inside.

AH said that he went into the vehicle to calm him down, but FA hit him in the face. FA denied that, saying the three officers attacked him. He said he refused to go with the officers because he wasn't doing anything wrong or illegal.

He confessed to drinking five glasses of champagne at the hotel while celebrating, records show.

The forensics report confirmed FA suffered multiple injuries to his arms, chest, back, head, neck, and face. The report said there were multiple bruises on his body and a bite on his left hand.

The judge asked the officers why they did not question the men they said were assaulting FA when they arrived. They did not give a reason, but insisted FA was already injured when they arrested him.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.