Armagh rooftop flasher is jailed for assaulting officers
An Armagh man wanted by police climbed onto the roof of a house, exposed himself and threatened to urinate on officers who came to arrest him.
After jumping down and fleeing, he ran into an alleyway and smashed a flowerpot on the head of an officer in pursuit.
Ryan Cassidy (22), from Drumarg Park, admitted multiple charges including intentionally exposing his genitals, damaging a television aerial and three counts each of assaulting police and resisting arrest.
Dungannon Magistrates Court heard officers were searching for him under a bench warrant when he failed to appear for sentencing in a separate matter.
They received information he was at a house in Coalisland and called there on May 2. On spotting police, Cassidy fled onto the house roof and shouted abuse.
Efforts to persuade him down failed, and Cassidy proceeded to drop his trousers and expose his genitals before shouting to police: "I'm going to p*** on you."
Whilst he didn't, Cassidy instead repeatedly spat on officers.
He deliberately broke the television aerial on the house before climbing down onto a shed roof.
Police were in pursuit and Cassidy eventually jumped to the ground where an officer grabbed him by his top, but he struggled violently. He managed to slip out of the garment, leaving the officer holding it in his hand.
Cassidy made off but turned into a dead-end alleyway. Cornered, he picked up a flowerpot and threw it. It smashed on an officer's head leaving him stunned and with a bleeding cut which required stitches.
The officer continued to try to detain Cassidy, and assistance arrived. However, the defendant continued to struggle violently, striking out with his fists, assaulting two more officers in the process, the court heard.
When detained, Cassidy was charged and remanded in custody, where he has remained ever since. He admitted all offences and pre-sentence reports were obtained. A defence lawyer said: "It is accepted this matter gives cause for concern... my client knew he was wanted by police and tried to escape. There is little to be said, except to say the behaviour was not gratuitous."
But District Judge John Meehan disagreed, stating: "Smashing a flowerpot over the head of a police officer could certainly be described as gratuitous.
"This was violence against an officer trying to keep the peace and ensure safety of all, including the defendant... there is an appalling previous record."
Addressing Cassidy, Judge Meehan stated: "This was absolutely outrageous and disgraceful. You knew you were wanted under warrant and that is an aggravating factor on your conduct when police tried to arrest you. This was nasty behaviour and you show no concern for the costs of damage caused by your self-indulgence."
Imposing a sentence of four months imprisonment, Judge Meehan told Cassidy: "You have a violent criminal record. It was arrogant to engage in this conduct when police were primarily concerned for your safety and the public in general."
As a result of the exposure matter, Cassidy has been placed on the sex offenders register and will remain so for seven years.
Leave to appeal the sentence was granted, but bail while this is pending was refused.