Police constables Modesto Cucúl, 28, and Frederico Tush, 24, both attatched to the Punta Gorda formation, were arraigned in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court, on Monday, July 30, on a charge of beating Michael Valerio and causing his death on Sunday, July 29.
A hostile crowd of Punta Gorda citizens who stood outside the court were further upset to see the two accused walking without handcuffs from the courtroom. They expressed their rage when the police tried to stop them from photographing the two accused.
Reports from Punta Gorda say the two off-duty cops had chased behind Valerio when they spied him walking in the street Sunday night. They accused Valerio of stealing a bicycle which belonged to one of them.
They chased him up a flight of stairs, on to the verandah of Central Bar, where they caught him and beat him mercilessly.
They also beat the bar’s owner, Louis Braddick, and his friend, Noel George Lopez, when they tried to intervene.
They left Valerio, bleeding on the verandah of the club. He was eventually rescued by a passing police vehicle, which took him to the the Punta Gorda Hospital, where he died an hour later.
Police Press Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood announced at a police press briefing on Monday morning, that the Police Department is conducting an internal as well as a criminal investigation.