July 22, 2005 — While police are not releasing information regarding an assault on a Caribbean Cinemas employee on Sunday, Sassy Souvenirs owner Terri Golden is not keeping quiet. A witness to the incident, Golden said that an off-duty police officer is responsible for the alleged physical attack on usher Gretta George, 52.
According to VIPD Assistant Commissioner James McCall, an Internal Affairs investigation is underway to find out exactly what happened. McCall added that VIPD has also solicited the help of the Attorney General's Office in the matter and will be able to provide more insight once the investigation has finished.
According to Golden, George was taking tickets at the movie theater on Sunday when a man tried to exit through the entrance door of the building.
George told the man that he was unable to leave from the entrance, and asked him to use the "exit" door instead.
"The man then identified himself as a police officer, and discussed the issue with Gretta for awhile before saying 'I'm going through that door,'" Golden said.
Golden added that the officer then pushed George "so forcefully," that she landed on the curb outside the theater.
"The police were called, and we waited outside the theater for an ambulance to come and get Gretta. While we were waiting, one of the managers and I went to get the license plate of the officer, and he was very abusive to us," Golden said.
Annoyed by the attention, the police officer, who identified himself as "Officer Rogers," then drove off to another area of the parking lot to wait until other police arrived.
During that time, Golden and George were waiting inside the theater for the chance to talk to officials about what happened.
"But when the police came, they didn't even come inside the theater," Golden said. "They stopped to talk to Officer Rogers first, and then remained outside the theater talking amongst themselves."
Golden said that Rogers then re-entered the building, and tried to arrest George without telling her why. "The police were standing around Rogers while he had Gretta handcuffed, and when I asked them to get away from her, they told me that she was going to be put under arrest."
George was first taken to Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas after the assault, accompanied by Golden. Once there, Golden said that another officer came and told the two women that George would be charged with assault and battery.
"Rogers, who had gone to change his clothes, then came to the hospital, too, and tried to arrest Gretta again," Golden said.
Golden added that while George was never arrested, Rogers did alter the truth of the incident in the police report. "No witnesses' statements were provided in the report, only the statement of Rogers, who said that Gretta had attacked him and his girlfriend. He also said that he had to leave the theater because he feared for his life and that when Gretta came after him, she tripped on the curb because she was wearing high heels."
Frustrated by the lack of cooperation displayed by police on the matter, Golden said that Rogers' report is an attempt to cover up what really happened. "They are just trying to protect one of their own," Golden said.
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