Man sentenced to pay damages for 2008 road rage incident

POSTED: 10/13/11 12:35 PM

St. Maarten – Michael Ariel Dupont turned out to be a talkative defendant in the Court in first Instance yesterday, but his verbal acumen did not save him from a 2-month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation, plus the obligation to pay $1,846 in damages for medical costs to a man he ill-treated in a road rage incident that occurred on June 6 2008. The court also imposed participation in anger management training.
The 23-year-old defendant went off the rails in June 2008, when he was driving in Cole Bay behind a car that went extremely slow. After he overtook this car, the slow driver overtook him in turn and cut him off. That led to a confrontation, whereby Dupont hit the driver of the other car through his open window, while a cousin who was with him threw stones at the car.
The total damages were $1,500 for the car and $1,845 in medical costs. So far, Dupont says he repaid about $350.
On July 25 of this year, Dupont was found near a car that turned out to be stolen. The owner had tracked the vehicle’s location via its GPS-system and when the police arrived, the defendant was in the car with a toolbox, either taking parts out or replacing broken parts.
The defendant denied that he was in the car, saying that he had seen its demolished interior and that he had just concluded that the car must have been stolen when the police arrived. However, witnesses had seen the defendant drive the car.
Prosecutor mr. M.L.P. Ridderbeks said that there was insufficient evidence for theft, but she considered fencing the stolen car proven.
She demanded a 2 month conditional sentence with 2 years of probation and the obligation to repay the medical costs to the victim of the road rage incident.
Attorney mr. G. Hatzmann said that his client admitted to the 2008-charge, and conceded that it was not good that he had not yet repaid the damages. He asked the court to acquit his client of car theft and of the fencing charge as well. ”Has my client been in the car? Why did the police not do a DNA-test to establish that?” he said.
But Judge Keppels considered both the 2008-charge and the fencing charge proven.

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