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California resident admits to threatening guest at 5-star hotel in drunken disturbance

Although the events which led to his arrest were not elaborated on in court, the man was accused of slightly assaulting or resisting police officers - a charge which was later dropped

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
21 July 2017, 5:12pm
A Polish-born resident of Long Beach, California has been fined and handed a suspended sentence after admitting to charges relating to a disturbance at the Intercontinental Hotel earlier today, in which police officers were slightly injured.

Adam Kazimierz Antonowicz, who also goes by the name of Adam Kazimierz Scheller, was arrested in the early hours of this morning after police were informed that he was insulting and threatening a female guest at the hotel.

Although the events which led to his arrest were not elaborated on in court, the man was accused of slightly injuring two police officers, reviling and threatening them, threatening the female guest, disturbing the peace, disobeying a lawful order and being drunk and incapable of taking care of himself in public.

Kazimierz Scheller was initially also charged with assaulting or resisting police officers, but that charge was later dropped.

At the beginning of the sitting today, the man told the court that he “wasn't in a position to pay for a lawyer” and at first requested legal aid, insisting that he did not work, “even in America.”

Scheller's Polish friend later agreed to pay his lawyer, after it was pointed out that amongst other things, he was staying in a hotel suite that “cost €600 per night.”

The Polish man told magistrate Josette Demicoli that the two men had travelled to Malta for a four-day trip. In halting English, the witness said that the police had searched their room this morning and that he didn't know why the accused was arrested last night or why he was searched.

“When the police came, I was in a shop at the hotel. When I came back from the shop, we were sitting in the room with some new Polish friends, talking and drinking. I heard somebody knocking on the door and some people took my colleague out. Some guy from security and hotel staff. Probably there was police too because after a few minutes they came into the room. He was cuffed. I was very surprised.”

He had known the accused for around 20 years, said the witness. He had never seen him do something wrong to another person, he said. “He's calmer than me. I have three kids and I'm a nervous guy now.”

He did not know why the police had searched the room or what had happened between the accused and the occupant of the room next door, he said.

“I just heard that there is some lady. I don't even know what she looks like...” said the roommate, insisting that he had not seen the accused speaking to or disturbing her.

Inspector Trevor Micallef, prosecuting, confronted the witness about alleged footage of the incident, filmed on his mobile.

The Polish man was reticent about showing it to the court and Ellis objected to the prosecution's request that the witness be ordered to submit the device for analysis, arguing that this was not a court of criminal inquiry.

Scheller pleaded not guilty and requested bail, but something of an impasse was reached after the accused was unable to provide a fixed address for the purpose of bail.

The magistrate summoned the inspector and the defence lawyer into his chamber, after which the prosecution announced that it would be dropping the charge of resisting arrest. The defence then announced that it would be changing its plea to an admission.

In view of the man's guilty plea, Scheller was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, together with a fine of €1,500 that was to be paid immediately.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...