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Scot-free No charges for 'careless' stunt driver

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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THE confessed driver of a motor car who was captured recklessly stunt driving in a video that went viral last week got off scot-free after surrendering to the police.

In fact, all Dennis Dietrih did yesterday was to offer a public apology for his actions.

Dietrih, who is the personal assistant for well-known cricketer Andre Russell, told reporters at the intersection of Dunrobin and Dukharan avenues in St Andrew that he was just having a good time with the black Mercedes-Benz motor car.

In the 21-second video, the motor car can be seen making 360-degree turns (doughnuts) at the said intersection where the confessed driver again visited yesterday — this time with the police.

In the video, the car continues to be spun at the intersection, generating huge plumes of smoke from its burning tyres, almost colliding with an oncoming motor vehicle, before it was finally driven away from the scene.

After the video began circulating online over the weekend the driver was instructed to report to the police.

“I am really, really sorry about this. I never really know it would get big like this. I was just doing some fun with the car 'cause is a fast car. I find out that is something really wrong I did, so I am so sorry about it and it will never happen again,” Dietrih said.

When the Jamaica Observer asked him if he wasn't aware that he should have exercised caution on the road, he said: “Well, when you are around the steering [wheel] sometimes enuh, it kind of get you a little bit aggressive, because the car is an aggressive car — it make you do things weh yuh nuh really think, it just happen, then yuh just go with the flow. But, as I said, it won't happen again.”

Ahead of yesterday's apology, Dietrih agreed to meet with the head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bishop Dr Gary Welsh at the location at 3:30 pm.

However, he did not show up until 3:56 pm.

In the meantime, ACP Welsh urged motorists to abstain from similar actions.

“This is what you do not do on the public roads. In this particular instance, what he did amounts to careless driving because it endangered other members of the public, and every single person that felt that fear is a different count,” ACP Welsh said.

“He came in today and we had a teaching moment, and he has learnt from that, and so, out of that, we took the opportunity that we would help to shape that narrative to say to the public that this is what you do not do,” he continued.

Additionally, the ACP insisted that Dietrih was not given any special treatment.

“This is the treatment that we will give to any citizen who comes in. It might not terminate the same way, but our citizens' interaction policy dictates that we treat with citizens in a similar manner,” he explained.

At the same time, the senior police officer said that, although the police were not at the scene at that time of the infringement, once a citizen lodges a complaint and gives a statement indicating that he or she experienced fear when in the presence of a motorist who handles a motor vehicle in a particular manner, the matter would be pursued.

Admitting that a report was made, Dr Welsh said he has chosen to exercise his discretion.

“In the last three days I have given 140 chances,” he said, adding that it is his right to do so.

“This will not last for long. I believe that I should educate people first before I hold them accountable, and that is exactly what I am doing,” he said.


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