In the police station, the official guided the agents who took Rafael and Dennis to the Miguel Enrique hospital, located in the same municipality, called Diez de Octubre [October 10th]. They had been beaten and had bruises on their faces, scratches and friction burns. They should have received medical attention and a certificate of their injuries and the breath test for alcohol.
In the hospital, Rafael continued to insult the officials. One of them who was bothered by this told him how he would exact his vengeance. He knew that Dennis had not hit him, but since he knew that these two were powerless, he accused Dennis of it anyway.
After the medical evaluation, they were taken back to the police station. Dennis was put alone in a dungeon to wait while the swelling went down. Up to that moment, no one asked him any questions, not even his name.
The next day, Dennis noticed that Rafael, in giving general information about his friend (Dennis), had given him a fake name. Dennis realized what had happened when the Clerk, Alejandrina, called him Roger. He was scared. And so as, supposedly, not to make the situation worse, he signed papers using that false name.
Without knowing it, he had just committed a second crime, that of disobedience, according to the penal code currently in force. He didn’t present false documents, and nor does the law, at the moment when a declaration is made, require the accused to be truthful. In any case, the organs of justice have an obligation to investigate and prove.
On two other occasions in four months, Dennis was detained for not carrying his ID papers. The Clerk already knew that his name was not Roger. The first time, she released him. The second time, she decided to jail him. That’s when Dennis gave his information. They looked for prior offenses and they only found an unpaid fine of 20 pesos.
From that moment the Clerk, Alejandrina, assured him that he was going to be sent to prison. She went down to the dungeons just to tell him: “I can’t do anything more for you, I am going to make you pay for everything you have put me through.”
Before all of this, Alejandrina had confirmed to Dennis’s family the testimony he had given that the agents had beaten him. At first, she felt sorry for this young man who, in addition to having been beaten, was unjustly accused of assault.
But the fake name of “Roger” complicated the situation. Maybe the Clerk had been reprimanded and in vengeance she decided to act against Dennis Guerra. None of these facts were brought forth before the court on the day of his hearing. Neither the prosecution nor the defense brought up the bad police procedure.
The traffic cop–or, as he is called in Cuba, el caballito, the little cowboy–did not show up as a witness, and the medical certificate was not entered into evidence to establish the injuries Dennis had received. Neither was the old man Rafael called to testify, the one who was principally responsible for what happened on January 3, 2009.