A Police Constable is hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the back. It is a complex situation as the officer is alleging that he was hit by a vehicle as part of a hustle scheme involving a police officer. 36-year-old, Wayne Dawson spoke from his hospital bed admitting to fleeing the scene after he was rear ended on his way to Orange Walk from Corozal Town. Dawson was quickly pursued by Police officers after leaving the scene and it was at the end of that pursuit on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk that he was shot by Police Corporal David Grajalez of the Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT). Dawson’s recorded account of the event is just over eleven minutes. He said he chose to have his side recorded in the event he would not be able to tell it again.
Wayne Dawson, Police Officer: “This is my side of the story before I can’t say it again. I was hit from behind by a vehicle. I was a hundred yards away. The person just accelerated into the back of me. I had enough time to turn in and this person just sped up and hit me and to make matters worse the Corporal that was dealing with the case he looked like he knew the person and I don’t know what kind of hustle they wanted to do but he and the lady were ganging up on me and he told me that it was my fault and I must just pay because I have a new vehicle and my insurance can pay. And I was telling them that he didn’t even do a proper investigation yet. He just came under the pretext that I’m at fault. This person was far away and she sped up and ran into the back of me. I felt like I was getting railroaded. They had some kind of plan going on so I left the area and I tried to go somewhere familiar. I don’t know what kind of scheme they had going on so I headed to Belize City.”
According to Dawson the Police were the ones who fired shots at him and his vehicle. He has denied reports of him shooting at the Police and explained that he wanted to pull over in a populated area to avoid being the victim of any misinformation or false allegations.
Wayne Dawson, Police Officer: “In the outskirts of Orange Walk a police mobile started approaching me lights on but I preferred to stop within town limits because I didn’t know what was their plan to do with me out there. When the vehicle finally came to a stop in the town, in Orange Walk Town I realized I had a firearm on me and I was about to declare it when one of the police hollered “Gun!” and he ran backward and they started opening fire on me. They shot their own. When the bullet caught me in my back my finger twisted the trigger in the vehicle and my gun went off but the shots keep coming from behind so I threw down the gun because I know they were going to try to say that it was me who shot at them. The only shot that fired off in my vehicle was in the floor. Nobody is in the floor so how will they say I was shooting at them ? We are trained better than this, I know I’m trained better than this. You don’t just shoot at people without knowing what is happening first. They just shot up my vehicle:”
The Police Department, however, is telling a different story. According to Assistant Superintendent of Police, Fitzroy Yearwood, Dawson had fired the initial shots and he was being pursued for abandoning an accident scene which is unlawful. Yearwood further explained that this is not the only laws that PC Dawson had defied.
ASP. Fitzroy Yearwood, Public Relations, Belize Police Department: “The officers are alleging that when they were processing the scene Mr.Dawson got into his vehicle and drove off from the scene. You and I both know all of us know that the laws clearly state that fleeing the scene of a crime, an accident or a crime, that would raise a lot of questions. I cannot say that Mr.Dawson what was his reason for leaving that scene but he is alleging that he left the scene because from watching his video he believed that some form of collusion was happening. Daniel, if you believe that a collusion is going against you you don’t have to flee an accident scene. You will have your say. He should have waited on that scene and allowed them to process. When he left that scene it is alleged that Corozal Police contacted Orange Walk Police and Orange Walk Police set up a vehicular checkpoint where they allege that he drove through that checkpoint also. In his video he stated that he was trying to reach his base in Belize City GI3 compound where he believed he would have been safer. I don’t know why but my honest opinion it was only a minor traffic accident and it end up gone bad because one he should have stayed on that scene regardless if you believe that it wasn’t going the way you believe it should have gone or in your favor at the end of the day you would have had your chance to explain yourself. It is very unfortunate that we have an officer in the hospital fighting for his life as a result of an accident, a minor traffic accident in my vision, that could have been avoided. Like I said we, you and I we can allege all sort of stuff. We received the official report from the officers that responded and we saw his video disputing their official report but the fact remains leaving that scene you automatically change your right into wrong.”
An investigation has since been launched into the matter. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has ordered that an internal investigation be conducted in to the incident. Police Press Officer ASP Fitzroy Yearwood told the media this afternoon that police formations in Corozal and Orange Walk are conducting separate investigations since the accident happened in Corozal and the shooting in Orange Walk. Yearwood pointed out that Dawson made a bad decision when he fled the scene of an accident. There has been no indication whether the officer who fired the shot would be placed on leave until the conclusion of the investigation. While those investigations have been launched PC Dawson maintains his innocence, saying that he is at a lost as to why the Police officers responded the way they did.
Wayne Dawson, Police Officer: “They can’t say I shot at them because no bullet holes are coming out of my vehicle. The only shot that was fired was in the floor after I got shot in my back. We are trained better than this. Every time I close my eyes I see police in camouflage coming at me, shooting at me and dragging me about the place. Every time I lock my eyes I see them. I have nightmares about this. Why ? Because somebody is trigger happy ? I don’t know why they did that and they will cover up everything and say it’s me, I shot at them. Show me the evidence of that first. And I got railroaded at Corozal and now I got shot, they tried to kill me in Orange Walk. I don’t know those police, I haven’t done them anything. I don’t know why they would have a problem with me and this is what they will do ? So if I die here in Orange Walk I just want my story to be heard.”
Police Constable Dawson was traveling in his personal JAC pickup truck at the time of the incident. He has since been issued a medico-legal form. Love News understands that a search was conducted on the vehicle where a black Glock nine-millimeter pistol was found. The search was reportedly witnessed by Justice of the Peace, Marcelino Matus.