Monday 26 September 2016

Garda 'dragged by moving car' at traffic checkpoint

Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30

The officer was injured at a routine traffic checkpoint. Photo: Garrett White
The officer was injured at a routine traffic checkpoint. Photo: Garrett White

A member of the Garda Traffic Corps has been injured in an incident at a routine traffic checkpoint.

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The incident occurred shortly after 6.20pm on Monday at Castlemitchell near Athy, Co Kildare. The officer, who is stationed in the town, was stopping cars to check tax and insurance details when, it is alleged, a female motorist grabbed the guard's arm before driving off, dragging him a short distance before he hit the ground.

The officer was later brought by ambulance to Naas General Hospital. He was treated for his injuries and was released in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that a female motorist "made contact" with a Garda before fleeing the scene.

"We can confirm that a female motorist struck a member of the Garda Traffic Corps Unit," he said. "The officer is recovering well but suffered some very serious injuries. It's likely that he will be out of work for some time while he recovers. He has been left badly shaken. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident," the spokesman added.

Lone female motorists have been warned to be vigilant following a number of attacks and reports of gangs impersonating gardaí in recent weeks.

Last week, a woman was badly beaten in Wexford after she stopped at what she believed to be a Garda checkpoint.

The woman was driving to work shortly before 6.30am when she was stopped by a dark coloured Ford Mondeo. A blue flashing light was placed on the car to give the impression that it was a Garda car, but this was not the case.

When the woman stopped at Corramacorra Junction, Murrintown, the passenger of the vehicle - who was impersonating a garda - approached her. He threatened the woman before stealing a sum of money from her.

Gardaí and the AA this month both warned female drivers travelling alone to be extra vigilant when stopping on secluded roadsides.

Director of consumer affairs for AA Ireland, Conor Faughnan, expressed concern at what he called a "nasty pattern" emerging across the country.

"There is a nasty trend emerging here and the best advice that we can give is to keep your doors locked at all times," he said.

Gardaí are appealing to any­one who witnessed Monday's incident to contact Athy Garda Station on (059) 863 1669, the Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

Irish Independent

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