ST. DAVID, Grenada, Dec. 31 (UPI) — Two police officers were charged Saturday with fatally beating a Canadian man at a police station in Grenada, authorities said.
Officers Kenton Hazzard and Wendell Sylvester are charged with manslaughter in the death of Oscar Bartholomew, 39, of Toronto, Postmedia News reported.
Bartholomew, a Grenadian native who was back on the Caribbean island for the Christmas holidays with his wife Dolette, is alleged to have been beaten by police Monday and died a day later in a hospital.
Postmedia News said Bartholomew’s death certificate stated he died of increased intracranial pressure, subdural bleeding and trauma to the head with skull fractures. A second autopsy was to have been conducted Saturday, the family’s lawyer said.
The attack allegedly occurred when the couple stopped at the police station seeking to use the washroom. Bartholomew was reported to have mistaken a female police officer for an old family friend and picked her up in a hug before putting her down when he realized it wasn’t his friend.
It’s alleged other officers, who considered the incident an assault on an officer, then beat Bartholomew in the police station.
One of two alleged witnesses to the beating said in a written statement that five officers restrained Bartholomew’s hands and feet before assaulting him.
The other alleged witness was in police custody and was reluctant to recount what he saw, the family’s lawyer said.
Police were unavailable for comment Saturday, Postmedia News said.