Friday 23 February 2018

Drink-driver who punched cell door claimed 'I'm like McGregor'

Stock picture
Stock picture

Andrew Phelan

A MOTORIST arrested on suspicion of drink driving became violent and threatened gardai that he was "like Conor McGregor" and was going to "kill everybody".

Vitalijs Gruznovs (41) went on to refuse to give a sample in the garda station, where he began "shadow boxing" in a cell.

Judge Dermot Dempsey jailed him for four months and banned him from driving for four years at Swords District Court.

Gruznovs, of Scholars Walk, Lusk, pleaded not guilty to refusing a sample and violent behaviour in a garda station last July 30.

The court heard gardai on duty saw the accused driving a silver Nissan Micra through Balbriggan.

Gruznovs failed a roadside breath test and was arrested and taken to Balbriggan Garda Station.

While there, he became belligerent and began speaking in Russian over the jailer, disrupting the reading of his rights.


In the cell area, he became more aggressive and the cell door had to be closed, the court heard.

Gruznovs began kicking and punching cell walls and refused to calm down or listen to anything the gardai had to say. He shouted for an hour in Russian and an interpreter arrived.

"He stated he was like Conor McGregor and he was going to come after us," a garda said. "He was kicking the door and shouting that he was going to kill everybody."

"That was in English," Judge Dempsey said.

A garda requested a breath sample from the accused through an interpreter and he refused. A doctor attended the garda station, but Gruznovs could not be released from the cell because he was still kicking and punching the wall. He refused to provide a blood or urine sample.

He was also "shadow boxing" the cell wall and door.

The accused refused to provide a sample a final time and was charged.

Gruznovs did not go into evidence.

"He regrets his actions," def-ence barrister Annette Kealy said. "Possibly it was borne out of a lack of understanding and frustration."

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