Lockdown delinquent charged for trying to run over traffic cop
A 37-year-old Cape Town man refusing to let his freedom of movement be curbed by lockdown regulations has been charged with attempted murder after nearly running over a traffic cop.
"Metro police officers in Delft had their hands full when a suspect reversed into a patrol vehicle, tried to run over officers with his vehicle and fled the scene of the accident," the City of Cape Town's metro police department said on Monday.
"The 37-year-old suspect was arrested for attempted murder, malicious damage to property, fleeing the scene of an accident and failing to comply with a lawful instruction of a peace officer."
The man was also charged for the transgression of the national Disaster Management Act and resisting arrest.
He was one of 23 people arrested by metro police and Cape Town traffic services department at the weekend on a range of charges, including drug possession and theft.
On Saturday, members of the metro police's tactical response unit (TRU) arrested two people in Athlone for the possession of drugs including dagga and tik.
The TRU members were on patrol in Athlone when they noticed that the two drivers of a vehicle were acting suspiciously. They found 100 grams of "high grade" dagga and one packet of tik, along with R12,970 in cash.
The two suspects, aged 24 and 32, were detained at Athlone Saps.
In another incident, officers attached to the TRU patrolling along the N7 highway pulled over a motorist for reckless driving.
"The vehicle was searched and officers found 5.3 grams of cocaine, 21.2 grams of crack cocaine and a cash amount of R1,360. The suspect was arrested for possession of drugs and was detained at Bothasig Saps," read the statement.
Three vehicles were impounded during other enforcement operations over the weekend and officers issued 2,950 fines for traffic infringements, and 674 motorists were charged in terms of the national Disaster Management Act.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said there were "far too many" people on the roads in violation of lockdown regulations or "dabbling in criminal activity".
"The fact that we are dealing with a very serious pandemic appears to have been lost on them, and they are making life difficult for enforcement agencies who are stretched with the many demands on their resources," said Smith.
"We will show no mercy to those who are breaking the law. The safety of our communities during Covid-19 is paramount and we stay committed to getting criminals off the street."
He thanked the city's law enforcement officers on the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Not only do they have to bring criminals to book, but they are also protecting the community during the Covid-19 pandemic by seeing to it that people stay at home and off the streets if they do not have the necessary documentation to travel or go to work," he said.
"Residents have the opportunity to assist our officers in safeguarding our communities by reporting any suspicious behaviour, including those who are wandering around. We will renew our efforts and shift our patrols based on intelligence."