State agrees to compensate La Brea man for bad covid19 arrest

Justice Frank Seepersad. File photo -
Justice Frank Seepersad. File photo -

A La Brea businessman who was arrested and charged by police for “unlawful behaviour and resisting arrest,” at the height of the covid19 pandemic in September 2020, will receive compensation for his wrongful arrest.

Andell Mark and four friends were allegedly speaking on the side of the road in Point Fortin when he was arrested.

On Monday, attorneys for the State said an agreement with Mark’s attorneys had been reached.

He will receive $102,000.

Mark’s lawsuit said on September 2, 2020, at about 3 pm, he went to buy a part for his car when saw four friends on the roadside and stopped to speak with them. The lawsuit said the gathering was within the permitted pandemic regulations at the time and all five were wearing masks.

A short time later, four police officers told the group to move.

Mark’s lawsuit said he asked one of the officers, whom he knew, “What did we do wrong? We not doing anything illegal, what is the reason for us to move?”

Mark said the police circled the area and when they returned, despite his insistence that they were doing nothing wrong, since there was no curfew, he was arrested.

He said after he was taken to the Point Fortin police station he had to be taken to the area hospital because his hand was hurting. Mark claimed at the hospital, the doctor had to demand that the police remove the handcuffs.

His lawsuit said he felt embarrassed when the police referred to him as a “prisoner.”

“This ordeal was very embarrassing and stressful for the claimant as he is a law-abiding citizen with no criminal convictions.”

His lawsuit also complained of the “smelly, dirty and extremely unpleasant” cell at the police station.

He was granted station bail at 1 am and on March 12, 2021, his case was dismissed because the police who charged him failed to appear in court to prosecute the matter.

His lawsuit complained of the nine hours he spent at the Point Fortin hospital and police station, his wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

On Monday, Justice Frank Seepersad approved the consent agreement between the parties.

Mark was represented by attorneys Tamara Gregorio of Regius Chambers and Everard Davidson. The State was represented by attorney Trisha Ramlogan.


"State agrees to compensate La Brea man for bad covid19 arrest"

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