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Apr 7, 2014

Businessman is arraigned for a shooting at a Ladyvillle bar

Less than five hours after the murder in Hattieville, Rural Belize Police officers responded to a shooting incident in front of Blue House Bar on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Ladyville Police say that they apprehended two persons; forty-seven year old Dennis Burke and thirty-one year old Oscar Perez for the incident that occurred just before two a.m. on Saturday. Both men were reportedly socializing at the bar when Burke got into an altercation with Perez’ brother, Edwin. The trio was escorted outside the bar and this was where Perez allegedly pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed Burke once to the chest. Here is where the story becomes inconsistent….according to a resident, who did not wish to go on record, police arrived on the scene and detained Perez. And that it was while in police custody that he was shot by Burke.  While police did not provide comments on the allegation, in a release, they claim that Burke, after being stabbed, took out his licensed nine millimeter Luger Brand pistol and fired a single shot at Perez hitting him on the abdomen. Both men were escorted to B.D.F. Hospital and then later to the K.H.M.H in stable condition. Rural Executive Officer of the Police Department, Assistant Superintendent Christopher Noble, says that incidents at the popular watering hole have become a perennial problem for the police in the village.

 

Christopher Noble

ASP Christopher Noble, Rural Executive Officer, Police Department

“An incident at a local bar, which is on the highway, and somebody was injured. We do understand that something else transpired after that person was injured and a male person may have used—or a person, sorry—may have used a firearm to injure somebody else. Thankfully that person did not succumb; I mean the person was transported [to the hospital]; the police were in close proximity. We are looking into gathering whatever information that we can…we have started gathering some and hopefully the persons affected would come forward and assist us.  The area in question had come forward on our radar before because of course incidents. We did make an attempt; the Liquor Licensing Board in one instance was assisting us and they had suspended some operations for them. But it has come up recently and for some reason, we have seen the granting of extensions to it—that will have to be answered by the board—but for security part, we have input security with the person owning the establishment—Police, we allowed them. To some extent it alleviated some of the issues, but for the most part a lot of the incidents occur outside of the establishment. Far and few in between is that the incidents occur inside. However, inebriated these persons might be or amped up on whatever they do in there, it spills over to one, a major highway. And trying to avoid it, we have made attempts to communicate this to several agencies to see what they can do.”

 

Dennis Burke

Today, Burke was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place and for Unlawful Conduct. The Vista Del Mar businessman pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June twenty-fourth. While he was denied bail at the lower court, Burke who has sought legal advice from Anthony Sylvester, is already seeking bail through the Supreme Court. Before he was taken to prison, however, Burke was ordered to be taken to the Hospital for treatment for the stabbing injury he obtained. 

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