Two persons have been arrested by the Royal Grenada Police Force in connection with an incident in Fort Jeudy on June 25, which left Evan Smith beaten and a dog dead.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday (June 29), acting Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin said police received a call about a hit and run accident involving a dog. However, upon arrival and after getting brief statements the responding officer realised the matter was more than an accident involving a vehicle and a dog.
Commissioner Martin said the Police have arrested and charged Sarah Hutton and Donal Kavanagh for causing harm. The two persons, said to be Irish, will appear in court on July 28. The Commissioner said they have been released on bail in the sum of $10,000 with one surety. “This offence carries a maximum penalty of $3,000 or imprisonment for one year, or both,” he said.
Other traffic related issues related to the incident are still under investigation. It is alleged that the vehicle Smith was driving hit a dog that succumbed to injuries, causing its owners to respond with violence. Superintendent Vannie Curwen, officer in charge of community relations, said the police are reviewing legislation relating to animals, as well as any covenant applicable to the Fort Jeudy residential area. The review includes animals being on a leash, and “at some point additional charges may be considered,” he added.
The incident sparked hundreds of Grenadians and other residents to gather in Fort Jeudy on Saturday (June 27) to protest the treatment Evan Smith received at the hands the two individuals as well as other members of the family, it is alleged.
“The initial statement from a witness of the incident first sighted two persons as responsible for inflicting injuries,” the Commissioner said, adding that just prior to the press briefing he was told the witness “has since returned to the police with added information of other persons.” He said this information will be reviewed and where there is evidence to substantiate the charging of additional persons, those actions will be taken.”
The Commissioner assured the general public of the RGPF’s professional objectivity in handling matters reported to it and “treating issues of public interest.”
Irrespective of parties involved, these matters will always be treated “carefully, diligently and methodologically.”
He noted that the police officer on the scene “fleshed out a number of factors” with information brought to him, including whether the incident involved speeding and dangerous driving; individuals blocking the road and removing keys from vehicles. These will be investigated to determine if charges will be made for traffic offences.