Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Video Credit: Golders/Denuncias Playa Jaco CR.com
This is the moment a policeman fires at surfers on a beach for breaking coronavirus quarantine and world champion surfer Noe Mar Mcgonagle has denied he was involved in the incident despite being arrested on the same beach.
The shooting occurred last weekend on the Costa Rican beach of ‘Playa Hermosa’ in the province of Guanacaste located in the northwest of the country.
Initial reports claimed former International Surfing Association (ISA) World Champion Noe Mar McGonagle, 23, was one of the surfers involved in the incident as he was arrested at the same beach a reported two days later.
Local media report one of the surfers involved in the incident was Rafael Villavicencio, however it is unclear if he is a professional or an amateur.
The video shows the moment Villavicencio and another surfer speak with a police officer at a distance as the camera shifts angle to show a second officer walking across the beach towards the group.
As the video turns back to the surfers, Villavicencio can be seen running away from the policeman he was previously speaking to as he holds onto his surfboard.
The surfer is seen gaining distance on the officer prompting the policeman to fire his weapon twice, once in the vague direction of Villavicencio.
The second surfer, who has not been identified, remains still in the background but starts running the moment the police fires his weapon.
The video comes to an end showing Villavicencio running away from the beach apparently making his escape complete.
Local media report a complaint has been filed to the Public Security Ministry of Costa Rica against the police officer involved, who has not been named.
Villavicencio’s lawyer Walter Brenes spoke with local media and said: “You cannot justify that in a state with rights like ours, an officer makes the decision to use his weapon and shoot on two occasions.
“Once on the ground and even twice against an unarmed person.” It is unclear which shots were to the ground or to the surfer as only two shots can be heard in the video.
McGonagle issued a statement on social media denying initial reports of his involvement saying: “I would like to clear up the recent incidents.
“First, I would like to apologise for my bad behaviour and disobedience for surfing when I shouldn’t have.
“Second, I want to leave clear that I am not the person they took out of the water with weapons being discharged” adding he was “treated with total respect” by the officers in his detention.
He ended his statement by asking others to “stay in your homes and don’t make the same mistake as me. I didn’t think this was that serious but it is and I apologise.”
McGonagle was crowned ISA World Champion in 2015, winning gold medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in the Open Men Championship.
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