|The vessel where the victim was staying when the incident occurred.|
|Assistant Marlon Blanco with Mr. Juan Perez.|
At approximately 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Judge Emerson Banner remanded Derrick Gideon, Juan Cus and Justin Cassimiro to Hattieville Prison as a result of charges laid upon them in connection to an incident which took place on Sunday, February 21st in San Pedro Town.
An official police report states that on Sunday, approximately between the hours of 12:15 and 1:00 a.m. Gideon, a police officer station in Belize City, Cassimiro, a Belize Defense Force soldier stationed on San Pedro Town and civilian Juan Cus visited Juan Perez, a vegetable vendor, who was sleeping on his boat which was docked at the Old Football Field. According to the report, both officials who at the time were dressed in civilian clothing arrived with Cus and explained to Perez that they needed to search the boat for drugs. They went on to explain that they had been tipped off about the possibility of drugs being hidden inside the boat. The three men, who were in possession of a firearm, proceeded to hurt Perez’s assistant, Marlon Blanco, who at the time was sleeping on the boat, as well. Perez handed over $650 when questioned about money and agreed to accompany the officers to the police department. However, instead of heading in the direction of the police department, Perez claimed that the men were taking him to the San Pedrito Area. The report continues by explaining that Perez managed to escape and found assistance from people in the area. Police officers and BDF soldiers arrived at the scene and a man hunt ensued to locate the men.
After the victim properly identified the culprits, the three men were jointly charged for kidnapping, aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and harm. Because kidnapping charges are dealt in the Supreme Court level, all three were remanded to Hattieville Prison until their next court appearance on April 7th, 2010. Gideon was additionally charged for resisting arrest.
Perez stated that the incident has not changed his mentality about the police department. “The officers that assisted me were good and the way they have handled the incident is great. I know that there are good cops and I know that there are bad cops. In a way, I am pleased that the incident happened to me. Because of that, the bad cops are now out of the service.”