Policeman recounts violent arrest in which he was bitten and colleague's hand broken

The police sergeant told a court how he is still waiting for the results of medical tests after being bitten by a man he was arresting 

A police sergeant has told a court how he is still waiting for the results of medical tests he had to undergo after being bitten by a man he was arresting late last month. 

23-year-old Abdul Hamid Adam Zakkaria had been approached by police officers in Vilhena Gardens in Floriana one night after he was observed to be acting suspiciously.

A sergeant and constable from the police Rapid Intervention Unit found the man on the edge of the bastions at the Turkish Embassy with a piece of wood in his hands.

When the police ordered him to put down the wooden implement, he reacted aggressively, brandishing a knife at the officers, who then tried to arrest him.

The man, who resides in Marsa, resisted arrest and attacked the police, slightly injuring the Sergeant and breaking one of the constable’s fingers.

“I’m still waiting for the blood test results,” one of the officers bitten by the accused told magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech this morning.

 Zakkaria is accused, amongst other things, of assaulting and injuring police and resisting arrest, failing to obey legitimate police orders, keeping a knife in public without a licence and breaching the peace.

One of the officers, a sergeant, said that when approached and asked if he had a problem, the accused had replied “you are the problem,” before lunging at the officers with a penknife. A constable was bitten by the accused in the ensuing struggle.

“With blood pouring down, we managed to handcuff him. He carried on shouting Allah u Akbar and spitting in our direction, kicking wildly. I’m still waiting for my blood test results and my colleague is still recovering from hand fractures.” 

The other injured officer testified today, telling the court that upon their arrival at the public garden they found the accused cutting plants with his knife. The police had told him a number of times to put the knife away but he carried on waving it in their direction. He was arrested and the officers were injured as a consequence, said the constable. 

As the sitting drew to a close, with the accused continuing to behave erratically, even in the courtroom, the magistrate appointed a psychiatrist to examine the accused.

Inspector Priscilla Caruana Lee is prosecuting. Lawyer Benjamin Valenzia is defence counsel.

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