Man accused of defying police orders and driving over sergeant’s foot

The court refuses bail to a man charged with driving over a police officer’s foot with his van despite being ordered not to move the vehicle

Man who ran over police officer's foot with his van is remanded in custody
Man who ran over police officer's foot with his van is remanded in custody

A 27-year-old mechanic has been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to grievously injuring a police sergeant who instructed him not to drive off in his van.

The court heard that Etienne Buttigieg from Birżebbuġa was called to move his Ford Transit that was parked on a double-yellow line opposite of a garage. When he arrived to the scene, the accused told the police that he could not move his vehicle as its engine had trouble starting.

While attempting to start the engine, police allegedly noticed that the vehicle’s number plate did not match with its documentation, to which the accused allegedly responded that the number plate actually belonged to another car.

The court heard that upon fixing the engine, Buttigieg was told by a police sergeant not to drive off as the vehicle was to be towed. Despite the sergeant standing in front of the vehicle’s right hand front wheel and signalling to the accused not to drive, Buttigieg allegedly took off, driving over the sergeant’s foot in the process.

A search for the accused subsequently kicked off, and upon finding the accused and his van, he was arrested. The vehicle was towed away.

The accused’s defence requested bail, to which the prosecution objected, because several civilian and police witnesses had to testify.

The prosecution also noted that Buttigieg had also been found guilty of similar charges in the past, and that for him, “vehicle tampering was the order of the day.”

Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras denied bail.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Anthony Stellini were defence counsel.