x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Man pleads not guilty to dragging and stabbing policeman

An Emirati fugitive under the influence of drugs sped away from a police sting with an officer clinging to his car, a court heard.

JS, 36, appeared before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday and pleaded not guilty to assaulting a public official, endangering members of the public, damaging property and taking mind-altering substances.
JS, 36, appeared before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday and pleaded not guilty to assaulting a public official, endangering members of the public, damaging property and taking mind-altering substances.

DUBAI// An Emirati fugitive under the influence of drugs sped away from a police sting with an officer clinging to his car and repeatedly stabbed him as he tried to shake him off, a court was told yesterday. JS, 36, appeared before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday and pleaded not guilty to assaulting a public official, endangering members of the public, damaging property and taking mind-altering substances.

According to court documents, on July 4 last year a woman acting as an undercover agent for the police lured JS to the Bustan Centre in Qusais on the pretext of a romantic rendezvous. However, officers lay in wait to arrest him on suspicion of possessing drugs. The defendant arrived at 8pm and parked behind the centre, but when he did not get out of his car an officer approached the vehicle. "I produced my police identification and asked him to get out of the car," S M, 24, told prosecutors, "but he drove off at an insane speed. I clung to the vehicle and tried to get him to stop."

The officer described how he held on to the driver's side of the speeding Toyota Land Cruiser, trying to wrest control of the vehicle through the open car window as the defendant drove against the flow of traffic towards the Sharjah border. At that point, said the officer, "using a knife, he stabbed me in the arms and chest as I held on to the car". Despite his wounds, the officer managed to take control of the vehicle after punching the defendant in the face several times and grabbing hold of the steering wheel, bringing the escape bid to a halt outside a hospital in Nahda.

S M, bleeding heavily, was taken to Rashid Hospital by ambulance. Later, blood tests revealed JS had a cocktail of drugs in his system. The defendant's lawyer, Saeed al Ghailanim, said his client had believed he was keeping a romantic rendezvous and panicked when he saw the officer approaching. "He immediately thought it was the girl's father or brother and was terrified they might hurt him so he ran," Mr Ghailanim said.

He was, he added, seeking an investigation into the conduct of the arresting officer, as his client had been badly beaten. The case was first referred to the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance in November last year and a ruling was given in April. Initially, the court found the defendant not guilty on the drugs charge and said it lacked the authority to hear the remaining charges. The public prosecution department appealed the ruling and the Dubai Appeal Court referred the case back for a retrial before the Court of First Instance. The court is due to issue a new ruling on August 17.

@Email:hbathish@thenational.ae