Traffic policeman had helmet forcefully removed in assault

Man charged with assault jumped on car “in a frenzy”, savagely attacked the officer, splitting his helmet and tearing his motorcycle leathers.

An Egyptian man who attacked police officers during the recent Isle of MTV concert at the Granaries was remanded in custody this morning.

Police Inspectors Priscilla Caruana Lee and Pierguido Saliba arraigned Tamer Mohamed Hussein Rozik, 36, from Egypt in connection with an incident at Floriana where he had jumped on the bonnet of a car, ripped off a wiper blade and then attacked policemen who had tried to stop him, with such savagery that he broke one officer’s motorcycle helmet.

Legal aid lawyer Abigail Bugeja appeared for Rozik, who works on a Virtu Ferries vessel which is soon leaving to operate in Egyptian waters. Speaking through a translator Rozik pleaded guilty to ten charges which included violently resisting arrest, attacking a police officer, slightly injuring a police officer, causing criminal damage and breaching the peace.

lnspector Saliba told the court how the incident began when a car struck the accused slightly. Enraged, the man jumped on the car “in a frenzy.” A policeman who had been directing traffic, intervened when he noticed the man jumping on a car bonnet and trying to pull off its wipers, only for the accused to savagely attack the officer, splitting his helmet and tearing his motorcycle leathers.

He was eventually restrained with the help of bystanders, and was taken to the police station and placed in leg restraints. Later, while he was being driven to a clinic he had almost caused the police car to crash, said the inspector, adding that the accused had also bitten the couch at the polyclinic.

"This type of incident is on the rise and I find it worrying,” said the inspector. “The idea that you can attack a policeman and get away with a suspended sentence has to be addressed.”

Rozik pleaded guilty, but said he had no funds to pay for the damage he caused, which amounted to €1,383. Lawyer Stephen Tonna Lowell, on behalf of Virtù Ferries, addressed the court , informing it that the company was prepared to make good for the damages caused by its employee.

The accused’s lawyer said that the man had apologised for the incident, had only been in Malta for a month and had just got a job. In view of this she requested the court hand him a suspended sentence if he is found guilty.

Bail was also requested and was opposed by the prosecution due to the nature of the charges as well as the fact that the accused is a sailor with no fixed abode and had an expired entry visa.

The court denied bail and put the case off for judgement until Tuesday.

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