[WATCH] Man who confronted festa group for smashing front door is remanded in custody

Carmelo Falzon, 44, from Qormi was arraigned under arrest after he confronted a group of men who smashed his front door

Carmelo Falzon, 44, has been remanded in custody
Carmelo Falzon, 44, has been remanded in custody

A man has been remanded in custody after he confronted a group of men who had smashed his front door with a forklift whilst installing festa decorations and was instantly arrested.

“He did nothing, it’s not his fault” sobbed the man’s inconsolable wife as he was led away in handcuffs. ”Why are they taking him to prison?”

Carmelo Falzon, 44, from Qormi was arraigned under arrest by Inspectors Roderick Agius and Shaun Friggieri this afternoon after the incident which occurred yesterday.

Magistrate Marseanne Farrugia was told how the man had arrived at his home on a motorcycle and found his wife and daughter outside his home as police were dealing with a group of around 20 festa enthusiasts who had been installing decorations. A fight had broken out between the enthusiasts and had terrified the man’s wife and daughter. It emerged that the man’s front door had been damaged, apparently with a forklift, during this fight.

CCTV footage shows the man striding purposefully towards the group after being spoken to by his wife, only to be intercepted by police officers who wrestle him to the ground. In the ensuing struggle, one police officer pulled a muscle in his back and the other hurt his hand.

Falzon was charged with slightly injuring the officers, threatening them, violently resisting arrest and disobeying police orders. None of the festa enthusiasts were charged today.

His lawyer Martha Mifsud entered a plea of not guilty. “At no point did he attempt to attack the police,” she said.
The accused was the sole breadwinner for a wife and three children and could not afford to miss work, she said as she requested bail.

“I don’t think it is right to burden him with other people’s crimes by saying there are currently too many attacks on the police,” said the lawyer in response to a remark by the prosecution.

“Aren’t police breadwinners?” interjected the inspector.

The accused was a victim of circumstance, he was not involved in the fight, the fight was between other people and they were damaging his house, she replied.

The inspector said the man was aggressive and agitated when he was stopped and told to calm down. “He didn’t even calculate the police and went straight to attack,” but later clarified “we aren’t saying he kicked or punched the police.”

“This is why he isn’t trustworthy because it is senseless to confront the crowd violently.”

The inspector said the attitude of the accused was “once he’s lost it, he’s lost it and there’s no limits,” and that this made him a risk to public order.

Mifsud pointed out that there was no charge relating to him attacking the crowd. “His first instinct wasn’t to attack but to check if his wife and daughter were ok. He didn’t drive on to them, but because he’s not out of control he did this.”

“At no point did he attack the police. How can he say that the police are victims?” asked the lawyer, arguing that keeping him in custody would be breaching his rights.

“Because the police don’t have rights, right?” quipped the inspector.

The court ruled that there was a real fear that the man would commit another offence during the festa preparations and subsequent dismantling of decorations. This risked the man coming into contact with the people who he was angry with, she said. “It emerges that the accused is incapable of controlling himself when he’s angry.” Bail was refused at this stage.

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