Cop allegedly catches ex-convict naked inside car


A man who had just been convicted of domestic violence was arrested last Friday, this time over an incident in October when he allegedly assaulted a police officer who had caught him naked inside a car parked at the Garapan Fishing Base.

Berman Higgins Jr., 21, was served with an arrest warrant on charges of assault and battery and disturbing the peace.

At a hearing yesterday, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo imposed a $3,000 cash bail on Higgins and set the preliminary hearing for Feb. 10 at 9am.

Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig was appointed as counsel for Higgins.

According to police detective Shannon Dela Cruz in her report, a police officer was conducting an hourly check at the Garapan Fishing Base last Oct. 5 at 3:03am when he came across a white car with its lights on and parked at the far corner near the small war bunker. The officer got down his patrol car, turned on his flashlight, pointed it toward the driver’s side window, and knocked on the window to ask if everything was fine. That’s when the officer saw a naked man, later identified as Higgins, putting on his boxer briefs and short pants.

The officer knocked on the car’s window a second time. Higgins came out of the car, slammed his door, and allegedly yelled at the officer if he has a problem with him having sex. He then allegedly challenged the officer to a fight. The police report did not identify who was in the car with Higgins.

The officer radioed for additional officers for assistance. Higgins got back into his car, drove it around and seemed headed toward the officer. The officer went to the side of his patrol car. As Higgins came to a stop, his tires skidded on the gravel road.

Higgins then got down his car and walked toward the officer. Other officers arrived, grabbed Higgins, and placed him in handcuffs.

The officer who first encountered Higgins then brought him to the Commonwealth Health Center for medical clearance. At CHC’s waiting room, Higgins again allegedly challenged the officer to fight and shoot him. When Higgins attempted to walk out of the waiting room, the officer pulled him back to the room. That’s when Higgins allegedly kicked the officer on the chest and stomach. The officer held Higgins in a headlock to secure him. Higgins kneed the officer in the crotch and repeatedly kicked him. A male hospital staff, who heard the commotion in the room, came and helped the officer secure Higgins.

Last Dec. 10, Higgins pleaded guilty to assault and battery (domestic violence) and was sentenced by Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa K. Kim-Tenorio to 20 days in prison, with credit for the time he already served in jail. He was placed on probation for three years.

In that case that happened on Dec. 23, 2018, on Saipan, Higgins punched a “household member” in the face, fracturing her right orbital bone and loosening at least one tooth.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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