Tuesday 19 October 2021

Aruban holidaymaker who died during violent arrest had ‘severe injuries’

mitch arrest policeAruban holidaymaker Mitch Henriquez, who died last year after a violent arrest, had a fractured larynx and contusions to his temple, nose and genital area, the family’s lawyer told a television show on Thursday evening.

Gerald Roethof told talk show Pauw he had seen the initial police report which shows Henriquez was ‘severely abused’ during the arrest.

As well as the bruising and fractured larnyx he also had two broken ribs, but these may have been caused when officers tried to revive him, Roethof said.

The report also lists several reasons, including public drunkenness, breach of the peace and threatening behaviour, for the arrest of Henriquez. The 42-year-old died after being thrown to the ground and bundled, apparently unconscious, into a police van after an open air concert by UB40.

The police originally claimed Henriquez had become unwell in a police car but retracted that statement after video footage showing him being held in a choke hold and dragged into the van was placed online.

Five police officers face charges in connection with the death.

Roethof says so many witnesses are being heard in connection with the case that it could take two or three years before it comes to court.

‘I do not understand why the public prosecution department is keeping the family in suspense for so long,’ he said. ‘I have never seen this before in a case involving a violent death.’

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