Police Officer Assaulted During Traffic Stop on St. Thomas

A V.I. police officer was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness during a traffic stop on Monday, the VIPD reported.

Two officers were conducting the traffic stop on a vehicle with heavily tinted windows on Hospital Line roadway on St. Thomas when the assault occurred, according to a press release the VIPD issued Tuesday night.

One officer requested the documents for the vehicle from the driver, while the other officer asked two men who were passengers to step out of the vehicle. As he conducted a routine pat-down of the passengers, one of them began to pull away, according to the release. A scuffle ensued as the officer tried to take the man into custody, it said.

“The officer also stated that the other male suspect came around the vehicle and then grabbed him in a ‘chokehold,’ causing him to almost lose consciousness. The officer observed one of the males throwing a firearm into the vehicle, as the other male who held him in a chokehold told the driver to drive off,” the press release stated.

More police units arrived on the scene to assist, at which time they were able to take the two men into custody without further incident, the press release stated.

Rakhim Rabsatt, 32, and Raheem Smith, 25, were both arrested for possession of an unlicensed firearm, third-degree assault, delaying and obstructing justice, and resisting arrest. Bail was set at $75,000.

Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives request that anyone with information regarding this incident call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau or the office of the police chief at 340-774-2211. You may also submit information via Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477, crimestoppersvi.org or p3tips.com.