Sunday , March 26 2023

More about the arrest of the 60 year old man last Monday

The Daily Herald writes that a  press statement issued Wednesday afternoon by the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN office on Bonaire, recounts disparaging facts from a witness account of a local incident resulting in an arrest. KPCN-Saba Chief of Police Charles “Charlie” Smink could not be reached for comments.

The Bonaire statement notes an incident that occurred Monday, September 23, at 9:15pm, resulting in the arrest of a 60-year-old man in Saba. The account of the incident by the wife of the detainee is about an incident occurring Tuesday evening, September 24. The KPCN Bonaire statement is that the suspect “after he had caused a collision with material damage, ran into his house. Although neighbours called upon him, his door remained closed. The police arrived at the scene and ordered the suspect to come to the front door.” The suspect appeared with his partner at the front door while an agent unsolicited showed his police ID card. The suspect then hit the police ID card out of the hands of the agent, pulled out a knife and made a stabbing move toward his colleagues who were within very close distance of the suspect. As a response, a police woman pulled out her weapon, pointed it at the suspect and ordered him to drop his knife. The man dropped the knife and could be arrested after a short struggle. The man was taken to the police station and brought before an assistant prosecutor.

T.H. and her husband, R.C., the man arrested, are long-time residents on Saba, known in the community for their philanthropic activities. T.H. works in a grocery store across from the police station in Windwardside and knows most members of the police force by name. She says she never before saw the people who descended on their home Tuesday night. She recounted this version of the events.

The couple had dinner in Windwardside leaving at 8:00pm. Arriving home, a car was parked in their private parking spot. Her husband pulled the gyp trying to accommodate both cars in the remaining space. Without realising, he apparently bumped into the fender, making a dent in the other car. They went inside their home and went to bed about 8:45pm.

T.H. remembers that around 9:30 or 10:00pm she woke up “with the perception that someone was in my house. I saw three flashlight beams from our bedroom at the far end of our house. I heard voices yelling, ‘come out, come out.’ R.C. got up, put on shorts and went towards the light. “By the time I put some clothes on and got out,” says T.H. “there were three young individuals that I did not know on our patio, the door was already open. The three individuals standing on our patio repeated, ‘we’re the police.’” R.C. said, “‘let me see your badge.’

They pulled out what looked like a Saba ID card and R.C. said ‘that is not a badge,’ They said, ‘we’re the police, get on the ground, get on the ground.’” The individuals summoning them were “in street clothes and tennis shoes, one girl and two boys and I’ve never seen them before so we had no idea who they were,” said T.H. “I thought we had home invaders, that we were being robbed. I was terrified not knowing what these individuals are doing in my home screaming at me and telling me they are the police. I did not think they were the police for one second. The police have badges, I’ve seen them.”

T.H recounts that her husband asked them, “if you are the police, call the real police, you get a uniformed officer over here.” She said the individuals insisted they were the police and that her husband slapped the ID and said “don’t come near me.” He went into the house and came out with a knife thinking they were being robbed. R.C. asked them to get off his property. “The girl said ‘oh hell no’ repeatedly,” recounts T.H., “she dug in her purse and pulled out a gun, had both hands on the gun, arms straight forward, pointing directly at R.C., she was about four feet from him.” T.H said she pushed R.C. and came in between asking him to drop the knife. R.C. dropped the knife, T.H. was pushed to the side and in the scuffle RC was pushed to the ground while the police had his hands behind his back screaming repeatedly “you’re going to jail.”

T.H. says the owner of the car with the dented fender came into the yard asking the police to release R.C. and apologising for causing the situation. The car owner had tried to call the couple about the dented bender, but not getting an answer he called the police. The police took R.C. into custody for interrogation. Wednesday morning T.H received a call from the hospital at 8:00 informing her that her husband was hospitalised due to shoulder pain and a heart condition needing supervision. While she could not see him, she could bring him clothes. T.H. says her husband has a medical history of shoulder reconstruction likely exacerbated by the ruffed-up arrest. R.C. is still in police custody.

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  1. I am in agreement with anyone who is saying that this could have been solved very easily by calling the gentleman the next morning and ask him to visit the police station.

    In the mean time, the public at large wants to ask the KPCN-Saba Chief of Police Charles “Charlie” Smink to elaborate why are his officers entering private people property after reasonable hours without the standard form of Police identification; A police uniform, a Florescent upper vest with the word “POLICE” clearly inscribed on the front and back(you use them during carnival parades), and the official BES KPCN badge.

    The majority of the police force on Saba is rotated very frequently. Many of these officers are no more that 20 -25yrs and thus it becomes very difficult for the average citizen to identify them during the daytime, far less at night. So it is not a make up story if the lady says that they look like home invaders.

    Another point that need addressing is did these officers have a warrant to enter this residence. Based on the events outlined by T.H. which is alot more credible that what was released by Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN office on Bonaire, I would say that these police officers did not adequately identify themselves when they went to this people’s residence. Not every one on Saba knows you are a Police officer, so when executing your duties….especially after reasonable hours….valid police identification should be displayed at all times.

    Even detective Horacio on CSI Miami brings a uniform police officer along when making arrests.

  2. Things happen. A dent in a bumper is unpleasant, but in a society of reasonable people, it can always be sorted out.

    The reaction of the police is more or less equivalent to how one would expect kids to react. We have had the incident with Kuchi, and now this one. There is something basically wrong in the new police force.

    I was already worried about problems when I read on this site that Bonaire had issued a press release on the incident. They also realized that something had gone wrong, but, of course, they tried to cover up the incompetence of their trainers.

    Our Lieutenant Governor is the official head of the Saban Police. I look forward to his position in this series of incidents. In the end, it is his challenge as well and he understands the local culture and knows his people.

    Let’s wait to see what he has to say.

  3. The more I read and hear of this case I am becoming more confused. First I red about a collision, secondly I read about running into the house, thirdly I hear and read about swinging knife, I hear about neighbors calling and based on all of this I think this case needs to have an independent investigation because honestly something is very fishy. In the dark of the night who is going to see any ID card come on fool someone else. This case could have waited until day light like all other cases where people is told to come to the station at 8.00 a.m. As a community we have to stand up and demand that a full investigation takes place by an independent body.

  4. I’m confused too. In one of our last meetings from the Saba Business Association with Mr. Stolte we addressed problems with the police versus community concerns etc. We were promised a meeting with the head of the local police but that never materialized and the than chief is already long gone, the new one was never introduced and so the story goes on and on. Lip service isn’t enough. The community deserves better. The police really should reach out to the community and try to establish a decent dialog.

  5. In this modern day and age a few simple photos could have been taken of the incident by the complaining party and resolved the following day between both party’s.

    If the following day it could not be resolved then and only then other means of action should have been taken.


  6. As a new member of the community, I am deeply concerned with how this investigation was handled. Local police should have the trust of the community. I believe this trust was lost when civil rights were ignored and due process was disregarded. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a larger outcry from the community. This behavior is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

  7. René Caderius van Veen

    Contradictions between statements by the police and by others, strange action of the police on just a minor incident etc. Much to be investigated on this behaviour of the police. Actually I would recommend an official complaint. If necessary I will support the 60 year old man and his wife to make such a complaint.

  8. An investigation by Mr. Johnson, the Governor of Saba as the Chief of Police is way overdue due to the existing circumstances as well as the response from the Bonaire Police about this issue.

  9. Since they have sent these unexperienced new police officers here in Saba from Bonaire it has become a REAL JOKE!!! Not only the B.S. with Coochie who was also approached by a man with no uniform on, demanding he put on a shirt. And thus arrested for this so not important AT ALL issue!!!!

    I was also arrested last week for running “a construction red light” AT NIGHT!!
    I had a pizza and a dog in my car and on my way home. I was followed way beyond the red light by the graveyard in W.W.S. all the way to the road to upper Hell’s Gate before they pulled me over for “RUNNING A RED LIGHT!!” Two villages later!

    Just prior to them stopping me,I had swerved to miss a cat ,they …. accused me of driving erratically…Daa????(We have to watch for goats,roosters,cats,dogs,and iguana’s here in Saba.)Any way everyone knows that there are no Legal- Set -Red- Lights in Saba!!!! And we all have seen these moved around little lights during the day to protect the street workers. We have all seen both little construction lights at either end Red at the same time,one working the other not, etc. etc.

    BUT/AND They were also in shorts and a T shirts when pulling me over….( IT TOOK THREE OF THEM TO FOLLOW ME??????)They then were gonna follow me home to see proof of I went to drive on, I said in my car to myself…. this is Fd up,That light was two villages back!!!

    Well then they yelled get out of your car, get out of you car now!!!! “You will not disrespect us, you are under arrest!!!” I sat in the cop shop for 3 and a half hours. They refused repeatedly to allow me to call my husband who was of course waiting on dinner and me with it.I asked each and every growing hour may I please call my husband… Their remark was “well he has not called here.” Are you kidding me, we don’t call the police to look for one another here!

    So now I was there with dog in car 3 1/2 hrs. for this ridiculousness!!!!! Then they said I could not drive home, to NOW call my husband to come pick me up!!!!!! Are YOU KIDDING ME!!! This was all a power trip, Plain and Simple!!!( They had to call the chief of police to decide if I was going to jail for this incident????????????????????????????)

    Now the third RIDICULOUSNESS….a little fender bender….that could have been handled the next morning for true…Power trip!!!

    MEN WITH NO UNIFORM COME IN YOUR HOME AT NIGHT THAT YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, ASLEEP AS YOU ARE, WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO PROTECT THEIR WIFE!!!! He simply asked for a uniformed officer to handle him. NOOOO we are to respect these kind of treatments here where we have always had a good relationship with our police men and women. They are not use to a small close net community and have chosen to handle us like true criminals for minor issues THEY make into major ones.

    Yes this professor is still sitting in jail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They call it attempted murder on an officer, lets get real here. Do not wake me up from a sound sleep in your shorts and t’s and think I am gonna believe you are a cop,yelling about what was it again,,,,a fender bender!!!!!!!!!


    We are a small close net community get with the program, this isn’t a 70 thousand people island like where you come from, and if it were I would pray you can find real crime to deal with, not try to dig shit up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Respect goes a long way. That should be lesson number one!!!!!!!! NOW LET HIM OUT OF JAIL, HE IS AN EDUCATED MAN, WHO WAS PROTECTING HIS OWN FROM STRANGERS IN STREET CLOTHES ENTERING HIS DOMAIN. WHAT A BUNCH OF B.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes since 10/10/10 things have really changed around here with the law and us folks they are paid to protect, not harass, and dig up ways to make a minor thing a big thing. Yep crime has got a new meaning now in Saba, it is called “You better respect us or else!!!!!!!!!!” Please……..get a life!!!!!!!!!

  10. If it is a car accident to me its something you can handle during the day or with insurance.So if the police come to arrest you for this in the middle of your sleep is strange and normally the police is not allowed to enter your home only with an order of officer of justice.A car accident is not a case to be arrested if you were not drunk or caused a deadly accident or with injures.. So let the men free , and find out what happen exactly and handle what the law says.Also to me young police men miss a lot of experience special in those cases.

  11. a good lawyer, large civil suit brought and high profile coverage(not only on Saba) and those involved should be replaced