Alleged chain snatcher stopped by police Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:00

A man walked up to Brea Burgess on Thursday, January 8 and ripped a $475 Cuban gold link chain from off her neck. The culprit then ran from the scene but police in the area were made aware of the incident and responded quickly. The officers apprehended Joseph O’Brien and took him back to the scene of the crime. He was identified by Burgess as the individual who snatched her chain and was arrested and charged with robbery. According to Police Constable Josel Garcia, O’Brien attacked him with a piece of 2x4 lumber while he was trying to make the arrest. Police Constable Victor Cholin also reported that while trying to make the arrest, O’Brien told him, “I wah kill yuh, I see yuh face." O’Brien was additionally charged with one count of harm upon Burgess for hurting her neck, one count of aggravated assault upon PC Garcia and one count using threatening words against PC Cholin.

In court on Friday, January 9, O’Brien appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was very emotional and claims he was at home when the officers picked him up in his undershirt and boxers. He says police brutalized him in the station and shot him in the knee. O’Brien was unrepresented in court. The prosecution had heavy objections to bail on the grounds of the prevalence of the crime; that the police evidence against O'Brien is very strong and that O'Brien was out on bail at the time of the robbery. With that, bail was denied to O’Brien and he is on remand at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance.