MISCELLANEOUS: When a scooter accident triggers acts of violence and vandalism at Sandy Ground…


Like wildfire! A few hours after a two-wheeler driver lost control of his vehicle alone and crashed into the back of a car at Concordia, false information disseminated on social networks implicating the gendarmerie, led to scenes of unacceptable violence on the night of Tuesday July 11 to Wednesday July 12 in the Sandy Ground district.

Stores looted, several cars and garbage cans set on fire, gendarmes targeted and injured, such is the sad assessment drawn up by the delegate prefect of the Northern Islands, Vincent Berton, with at his side the lieutenant-colonel of the gendarmerie, Maxime Wintzer- Wehekind, following the serious incidents at Sandy Ground.

fake news: on the afternoon of Tuesday July 11, an explosive rumor spread on social networks implicating the gendarmerie in a serious accident of an individual on a scooter, rue Richardson, in Concordia. False, totally false!

 The real facts: the delegate prefect of the Northern Islands, Vincent Berton and lieutenant-colonel Maxime Wintzer-Wehekind address the media during a press conference organized Wednesday morning in the prefecture. This is to set the record straight.

"At no time were the gendarmes involved in the scooter accident," said Vincent Berton. The individual on his two-wheeler was not knocked down or hit by a gendarmerie motorcycle. We are transparent and have nothing to hide”.

It is in fact a video published on social networks where we see gendarmes surrounding a young Saint-Martinois on the ground, the victim of a fall on a scooter which set fire to the powder.

The accident of the pilot of the two-wheeler intervened Tuesday at the beginning of the afternoon. "Since my arrival, I have noticed that the scooters do not stop easily at the summons of the gendarmes", notes the lieutenant-colonel. “In this regard, we are putting in place  special devices in accident-prone areas with a certain number of safeguards. These devices are very consuming in manpower since it is more than 20 gendarmes who are mobilized so as to be able to control people in complete safety, ”he explains.

To return to the unfortunate episode of Tuesday, a new device comprising two motorcyclists from the motorized brigade is set up on rue de Spring in Concordia. The latter, parked on rue Mingau, saw two individuals without helmets on a scooter. "We then decided to check them", underlines the lieutenant-colonel before continuing "The motorcyclists then engage behind the scooter and announce to the device located 300 meters further downstream, the imminent arrival of a scooter with on board two people without helmets. Seeing the police force in the distance, the pilot of the two-wheeler decides to turn right and enters rue Richardson. One of the bikers sees him enter this street and a few tens of meters behind he enters in turn. The motorcyclist sees that the individual has deposited his passenger on the side of the road before setting off again at high speed, taking reckless risks to cross the speed bumps. Fearing a fall from the scooter driver, the biker immediately decides to decelerate and let the individual go again. As he made this decision, a civilian vehicle emerged from the street perpendicular to Richardson Street. The youngster tries to avoid it but hits the back of the car. Shock is inevitable. The gendarme literally sees the individual fly away and arrives at his side to give him first aid while waiting for the arrival of the firefighters.

All the gendarmes present on the device arrive as reinforcements to also help the victim. The individual under the influence of pain gesticulates and the soldiers try to put him in a safe lateral position as we are taught. The victim was then taken care of by the firefighters and transported to the Louis-Constant Fleming hospital center. “His condition is stable, he is conscious and his life is not in danger”, wishes to specify for his part the delegate prefect of the Northern Islands. “In no case has the person been in a coma or been in a coma. It is false information that circulated on social networks and led to these acts of unacceptable violence against the gendarmes on the night of Tuesday July 11 to Wednesday July 12.

Total calm finally returned around 5 a.m. on Wednesday after the intervention of the president of the Collectivity, Louis Mussington, who went there to establish a dialogue with the young people and  soothe a more than tense atmosphere for several hours. _AF

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