A 45-year-old with no fixed address was held under arrest after pleading not guilty of injuring police sergeant Justin Spiteri last week in Mosta.
Appearing in front of Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, Francis Cuschieri was also charged with deliberately setting a house on fire, of being in possession of a gun without a license, of using the same gun and causing slight injuries to the police sergeant, as well as of being in possession of a substance suspected to be heroin, among other charges.
The case happened between Wednesday and Thursday of last week. tvm.com.mt has learned that it all started at around 10.30p.m. when an elderly women could not bear Cuschieri’s threats any longer and called the police when the man refused to leave her house.
District police, and members of the Rapid Intervention Unit and of the Criminal Investigation Department arrived on the scene where they found that they could into enter the house because the front door had been barricaded from the inside with a wardrobe. Meanwhile, the police said that they found the man, who was under the effect of heroin, in the balcony with a small gun in his hand. The Police began to speak with the man to try and convince him to leave the residence but he continued to resist. After various attempts by the Police to get him out, they had to break down the door, entered the house and found the man had locked himself up in the kitchen. At this point, which was around three hours later, the man turned on the gas and caused a fire. The police therefore had to leave the house because the situation had become dangerous and members of the Civil Protection Department came to put out the fire. As soon as the fire was put out, the police went back into the house where they found that Cuschieri had locked himself up in another room.
As soon as they broke down the door, the man pointed his gun at them and fired. The Police used a taser gun in order to restrain him. The police sergeant approached Cuschieri and tried to wrestle the gun away from him. The accused fired another shot, shooting himself by mistake, while the bullet ended up in the Sergeant’s leg. The man was finally arrested at around 3.30 a.m. while medical assistance arrived on site to treat the two injured men. They were admitted to Mater Dei where Cuschieri was certified to be suffering from grievous injuries but not in danger of dying while the price sergeant was operated on later that day.
The Prosecution was led by Inspector James Grech.