ON EVE OF ROTA MAYOR EFRAIM M. ATALIG’S JURY TRIAL IN FEDERAL COURT
David G. Banes, who is Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig’s lawyer in a corruption case in federal court, was arrested yesterday afternoon for allegedly fleeing the scene after hitting another car with his vehicle in Susupe.
The jury trial of Atalig and his girlfriend, Evelyn Atalig, is currently set to start today, Tuesday, in the U.S. District Court for the NMI. It is not clear if Banes’ arrest will affect the scheduled trial.
Sources at the Department of Public Safety disclosed that Banes was also allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
Sources said Banes’ vehicle hit a car on Beach Road in Susupe.
Police officers allegedly pulled over the lawyer’s vehicle by Joeten in Susupe.
No one was injured in the incident.
Banes was arrested for DUI and other charges, according to sources.
As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still waiting for comments from Banes.
On Sept. 3, 2018, police officer L. Lizama issued a traffic citation to Banes, for allegedly recklessly driving a red Toyota vehicle on Dandan Road at about 4:30pm.
Assistant attorney general Jonathan Robert Glass Jr. later agreed to remove the reckless driving offense in the citation and, instead, cited Banes with only an offense payable with a $35 fine, including a $10 court cost.
The amended citation charged Banes with “driving on right side exceptions.”
Glass said the basis for amending the citation is that the government has reviewed the facts and circumstances and has a good faith belief that the charge is appropriately amended.
Banes then immediately paid the $25 fine and $10 in court costs and the case was closed.