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Man Who Ran Up A Tree To Evade Capture Denies Groping 18-Year-Old Girl

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A 43-year-old man lewdly taunted an 18-year-old woman, her mother and a female police officer in court yesterday when he stood trial over allegations he grabbed the young girl's buttocks and ran away laughing while her mother gave chase.

Sidney Cooper, of Exuma Street, made a disgusting remark to the girl and shouted out his address, seconds after finished giving evidence against him over allegations he indecently assaulted her on June 12.

When the victim's mother took the stand, he called her a "big p*y" and likened her to a snake. When she completed her evidence and was walking out of court, he shouted: "That's a fat a though".

Finally, when the female officer who arrested him took the stand, and reluctantly recounted how he told her how "sweet" she looked, the man shouted out: "All the time, all day!"

And when that officer left the court, Cooper told her: "Don't worry, you next though. I been watching you a little while now. You next. Yeah, baby."

Cooper's outbursts came during trial in open court he groped the 18-year-old while her mother was dropping her off to work.

Cooper is charged with one count each of indecent assault and causing harm. He has denied the allegations.

The victim's mother said on the date in question, she was on Victoria Avenue headed on to Shirley Street, and in the process of dropping her daughter off for work. She said when she pulled the car to a stop, her daughter got out and proceeded to fix her clothes. Meanwhile, the mother said she looked down for a "split second" for her daughter's bag on the floor of the passenger's side.

The mother said as she did so, she noticed Cooper on the opposite side of the road coming towards her daughter, whose back was to him; she was facing the car as she fixed her clothes. The mother said when the man reached where they were, he took his took his two hands and grabbed her daughter's buttocks.

The mother said her daughter spun around and tried to lunge at her assailant in a bid to hold him, but Cooper in turn pushed her, causing her to fall to the ground. The mother said Cooper subsequently walked away briskly from them. She said she then put the car in park, got out and started to go after him whilst yelling: "You touched my daughter!"

She said upon seeing her coming after him, the man's brisk pace turned into him running gait, and he fled towards Bay Street from Victoria Avenue. She said while she chased him, Cooper kept looking back and laughing at her.

The mother said she continued to give chase, and before long Cooper jumped a wall in the area. She said because of what she was wearing, she was unable to jump the wall, so she decided to go around it.

The mother said while she pursued her daughter's assailant, she continuously yelled: "You groped my daughter, you touched my daughter!" She said her ranting caught the attention to various persons in the area, who in turn joined her in chasing Cooper.

The group subsequently chased the 43-year-old east on Bay Street. She said the chase ultimately came to a stop at a tree opposite the Rum Cake Factory, which the man had scrambled into to evade capture.

Once she had caught up with the group, the mother said she observed a number of spectators recording the incident. She said she then told them to call the police. About 10 minutes later, the police arrived.

Constable Sharain Brown said testified that at around 8am on the date in question, she got a call from the Tourism Police Station about a disturbance near the Rum Cake Factory. As a result, she said she and another officer went to that location.

She said when she got there, she observed a few people standing around on the side of the road, and others who were gathered around a tree. She said some of the bystanders pointed out a man in the tree, and told her how he had groped a woman a few blocks back.

P/C Brown identified Cooper as the man she saw in the tree, and when she did saw, the man likened himself to the biblical tax collector Zacchaeus, who climbed up a sycamore tree to have a better view of Jesus Christ as the prophet passed through the city of Jericho.

As a result, P/C Brown said she and her colleague ordered the man to come down out of the tree, which she said took a few minutes. When he came down, P/C Brown said he was handcuffed for safety.

A few minutes later, P/C Brown said a lady approached her and told her that the man she handcuffed moments prior assaulted her. PC Brown said she noticed that the woman making the complaint had swelling and blood to the right side of her face.

As a result, P/C Brown said she cautioned and arrested Cooper in reference to causing harm and indecent assault.

The prosecutor, Inspector Philip Davis, questioned P/C Brown if Cooper said anything when she cautioned him. However, P/C Brown appeared hesitant to answer the question.

Upon being prodded by the prosecutor, P/C Brown revealed Cooper told her "Officer, you look sweet" at which point in court he shouted: "All the time, all day!"

The matter is adjourned. Cooper remains in custody until that time.

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