Monday 23 April 2018

Bus driver accused of repeatedly kicking a garda in the testicles

Conor Gallagher

A BUS driver has gone on trial accused of repeatedly kicking a garda in the testicles and knocking him unconscious during a traffic stop.





Patrick Fitzpatrick (53) was allegedly extremely agitated and “like a man possessed” when Sergeant Neil Crowley pulled him over because he was blocking traffic.



The court heard that Mr Fitzpatrick alleges that he was the one assaulted by Sgt Crowley and that he was trying to hand over his driver’s license when the garda fell out of the bus.



The bus driver later made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman but this was not upheld and Mr Fitzpatrick was charged with making a false complaint. However this charge was also later dropped, the jury were told.



The jury heard that Sgt Crowley was on three months sick leave afterwards and had bleeding in his groin.



Mr Fitzpatrick of Drumree, Dunshaughlin in Meath, pleaded not guilty to assaulting a peace officer at Blackhall Place, Dublin 8 on July 7, 2007.



Sgt Crowley told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that he was then with the Traffic Division and was driving on the quays in an unmarked car when he saw Mr Fitzpatrick’s coach blocking two lanes of traffic.



The sergeant told prosecuting counsel Cormac Quinn BL that when the bus turned onto James Joyce Bridge it came to a stop. He said he pulled up alongside it and signalled for it to drive on and the accused responded by banging the steering wheel and shouting out the window at him.



Sgt Crowley said he put on his blue lights, got out of his car and went to the accused’s window. He said he asked for a driver’s license but that Mr Fitzpatrick refused and told him to “fuck off.”



The witness said he told the driver to pull over across the bridge and after refusing at first, Mr Fitzpatrick took off at speed and pulled over at Blackhall place. The garda went to the bus and demanded the license but was allegedly told to “fuck off” again.



Sgt Crowley said the accused was “like a man possessed”. He said the driver then fell back on the steps of the bus and said he had been assaulted.



The garda said when he went to Mr Fitzpatrick to check if he was injured, Mr Fitzpatrick kicked him in the testicles causing him to step off the bus in pain.



Sgt Crowley said he went to his car to call for assistance then returned to the bus. He said the accused was roaring out the window that he was being assaulted by a garda.



He said when Mr Fitzpatrick again refused to hand over his license he went to arrest him. He said a struggle ensued and the accused got his baton from him but that he wrested it back quickly.



The witness said the driver tried to latch onto the steering wheel and that he hit it with his baton to make him let go. He denied striking the accused’s wrists. Sgt Crowley said he was then kicked in the groin again and he doubled over in pain before being pushed off the bus.



He said he hit his head against a wall and was knocked out. He said the next thing he remembers is a paramedic shining a light into his eyes.



The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of seven men and five women.



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