Manchester cabbie injured after clash with policeman
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Twenty-six-year-old taxi operator Chester 'Taj' Daley Jr was hospitalised after he was allegedly beaten by a traffic cop in this south central town yesterday morning.
The incident triggered a withdrawal of service by operators plying the Newport, Knockpatrick, Northern Caribbean University, and Georges Valley routes in the parish.
Taxi operator Vincent Simmonds told the Jamaica Observer that he saw the injured operator and a policeman talking and, soon after, both were engaged in a tussle, resulting in them falling to the ground. Simmonds said he and another operator succeeded in separating the two men while two other policemen came and assisted their colleague in taking Daley on foot in the direction of the Mandeville police station.
Simmonds said about 100 metres from where the initial confrontation took place, it appeared that Daley was hit with a baton and rendered unconscious. Daley was reportedly taken to the Mandeville hospital by another taxi operator.
Owner of the taxi which Daley operates, Jessica Plummer, told the Observer that the confrontation between the taxi driver and the policeman may have resulted from an ongoing dispute over car documents.
Plummer said the incident happened at about 8:30 am after Daley had dropped her children off at school.
When contacted yesterday afternoon, Daley's mother, Jennifer Daley, said her son remained in an unconscious state and was to be taken by ambulance to a medical laboratory for tests.
Efforts to get a comment from the Mandeville Traffic Department were unsuccessful as the sub-officer in charge was said to be unavailable. The Observer was, however, told that the Mandeville police are investigating.
Meanwhile, Owen Wright of the Mandeville office of the Independent Commission of Investigations disclosed that statements had been collected and that an interview with the injured taxi operator was pending.