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May 21, 2014

Crooked Tree Fisherman claims he is wrongfully detained

Kenneth Bruce

Crooked Tree Fisherman, Kenneth Bruce, was charged on Tuesday for being armed with an offensive weapon. He was offered police bail and today when he appeared before the courts to be arraigned, Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart dismissed the charge because it was not brought properly before the court. The former musician was accused of assaulting the Village Chairman of Crooked Tree, Darrell Tillett, for an incident in the village during the Cashew Festival held over the weekend. It started out as a misunderstanding between Bruce and Tillett and ended with charges against Bruce. Although he was detained for allegedly assaulting Tillett, the fifty-three year old was charged for a knife he used to clean and fillet his catch on a daily basis. Bruce spoke to News Five on Tuesday following his release three days after he was detained by police. He recounted what happened on Saturday night in Crooked Tree leading up to what he says was a bogus charge against him.


Kenneth Bruce, Saw Charge Dismissed

“Ih step up to me and push me and when ih push me, I throw about four, five hand at him and then the police, Mister Donald Tillett, intervened and said that I need to apologized to Mister Darrel Tillett, who is the chairman. So I went and apologized to Mister Darrel Tillett and that was okay, so they walked away. But it look like one ah di hand or two or three burst ih face or something and Mister Donald Tillett bring him back while I was standing and talked to another guy. But I didn’t expect them to do me anything, so I wasn’t set for it and this guy walk up and punch me right ya—see mi lip still burst. Ih knock me clean down off mi foot. When he punch he, I deh on the ground and he sit down pan me like this. And when he sit down on me, Mister Donald Tillett come, the corporal from Crooked Tree come, and he set a foot at my throat—my throat is still, I can’t swallow good, it still swell. And then he pulled out a gun and have wah gun in ih hand. Mister Darrel have his gun on his side and Mister Darrel say I wah kill yo [bleep] now. Ih say I wah kill yo now. All kidna things ih di mention. When ih do that, it look like Mister Noble, who is the ASP from Ladyville, see what happening and ih grab Darrel and ih say Darrel give me the gun. And they start to jostle for the gun for above five minutes over me. Before that, Darrel throw about twenty-five hand at my face, but not a hand ketch me. They pick me up and after that they took me to the police station in Crooked Tree and they neva arrest them; I wonder why dehn neva arrest them. I had a knife on my side because if I was to use my knife, I could have used it down there because I coulda mi take it and push it through Mister Darrel or anybody who is there. But I didn’t…I take it to the lagoon to fillet my fish; that wasn’t my intention. They take me to the police station…dehn lock me down there the whole Saturday, Sunday. Dehn say they will take me six o’clock in the evening to take me to Ladyville, [instead] they come ten o’clock the night and take me to Ladyville. Got me in Ladyville Sunday night and then they charged me Monday. They said they will take me to court Monday, dehn didn’t take me to court Monday. I was still locked down. They tell me call me that dehn wah give me a police bail. Mi daughter left Belize, come down to Ladyville and dehn tell ahn dehn won’t give me police bail again. One o’clock last night, they come at Ladyville, bring me down here to Belize station, lock me down yah until today.”


Bruce has since lodged a complaint with the Professional Standards Branch.

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