A member of An Garda Síochána said a man tried to bite him during an early hours incident, threatened to kill him and said that he was related to a particular family and that the garda would be ‘got’.
Garda Conor O’Callaghan testified at Cork District Court that the incident occurred after 3 a.m. on August 30 off Western Road on O’Donovan’s Road by the main gates of University College Cork.
Garda O’Callaghan was in a patrol car driven by Garda Paul Dromey when they saw two young women who appeared to be in some distress.
When the gardaí got to the scene, Garda O’Callaghan ran in the direction of where he had seen them and they then came out of hiding.
“They were clearly terrified. They got into the back of the patrol car,” Garda O’Callaghan said.
John Burke, 33, with an address at Bob and Joan’s Walk, off Shandon Street, Cork, was shouting at the two women, saying, “Give me my f***ing phone.”
Garda O’Callaghan said of the two women, “They were clearly terrified of him.”
Gardaí called for a patrol van to take Burke into custody. As they were waiting for the van to arrive, Burke turned on Garda O’Callaghan lunging at him with his head, striking the officer in the stomach and knocking him to the ground.
“I fell on my back. He landed on top of me. He tried to bite me on the left thigh. I tried to manoeuvre himself away from his head but he tried to bite me again.
“Garda Dromey assisted me while we were waiting for transport.
“He continued to lash out. As he was entering the patrol van he drew a kick narrowly missing my face. I would describe it as manic aggression on the night,” Garda O’Callaghan said.
Burke pleaded guilty to being drunk and a danger and resisting arrest but he denied assaulting the gardaí or being threatening.
Burke said in evidence that he was asking on the night why he was the one who was being arrested when all he wanted was to get his phone back.
He admitted that when he was resisting arrest he fell on the ground but did not attempt to bite the guard or lash out later from the garda van. He also denied ever mentioning being related to a particular family who would get Garda O’Callaghan.
Sergeant John Kelleher cross-examined Burke and asked him was he related to the particular family. He said he was.
The sergeant said the defendant was suggesting that Garda O’Callaghan somehow magically knew the name of Burke’s relatives when he was describing what happened. Burke said the gardaí must have looked up who he was related to before they gave that evidence.
Judge Olann Kelleher convicted Burke on all charges, including the assault and threatening charges which he denied, and imposed an overall prison sentence of nine months.