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Jan 27, 2020

Joseph Budna Alleges Police Harassment

The infamous Joseph Budna is back in the news. He escaped into Belize from Guatemala where he was serving a twenty-five-year sentence for kidnapping and extortion.  He managed to successfully escape in 2019, but according to Budna, not even the Guatemalans harassed him as much as he is alleging that officers of the Belize Police Department are doing.  Budna says that he was locked up by Belmopan police for almost forty-eight hours for riding his bicycle on a one-way street. Budna says he is being targeted by the police.


Joseph Budna, Claims Police Harassment

“Dehn locked me down from seven-thirty the night; wait until the half an hour before the forty-eight hour is up and say this is the charge. See it right here; the information and complain of PC Khaylon Vernon, PC 1965. Riding a cause of grey ghost rider bicycle serial number blah, blah, blah on a one way street, contrary to regulation to one-twenty-four and such and such.”



“So you got detained for forty-seven hours for riding up stop, as one would say?”


Joseph Budna

Joseph Budna

“That is right. For riding up stop. When this occurred, there was an unknown vehicle while they had me in front of Cardinas Store. Cardinas was closed also; they don’t have a camera. An unknown vehicle passed at the same time. And when the unknown four-door vehicle passed, without license plates, I noticed that the corporal and the WPC—because you have police in uniform, about three of them, and you have some without uniform, civilian clothing—they squint their eye to the other officer and I saw the corporal point on the vehicle. I am looking at them and the vehicle passed slow by and stopped in front of Brodies, facing towards Brodies. I suspect that these persons wanted to get me in that vehicle and smuggled me over to Guatemala or get me disappeared. It is not the first time that unknown vehicles are following me and when I get to find out, they are police officers. On Friday, while I was with a friend here at the Belmopan Civic Centre, she sells clothes and ih got ih special care kid and I deh with ahn—cause I help ahn out and I help ahn with ih kids and ih got ih two lee daughters dehn; she know me from little boy—when a group of young man, who apparently are gang members, because dah eight ah dehn,. Dehn guys come right up to me and called me police informer and started to punch me and kick me. I run towards the police station, yo know, shouting for the police. And when I came towards the police station, there was a police officer in civilian clothes that was going out there, weh hear I di bawl for help. The police gone out there, when the police gone there, I tell ahn see di man dehn yonder. Some teachers di come pan di sidewalk and di teachers dehn see them yonder; the group ah bwai dehn di run. What they did?  The police got on my bike and went and detained them. The mobile went around and detained them. When they bring me dah station, dehn lock me up in Carcamo office. The WPC sit down and say we wah take your statement if you want court action. Yes, I want court action because I am not fooling with anybody. Cause if I want to do dehn young bwai something, I do it. But I am trying to prevent so police noh harass me and I noh end up dah jail because that is the simplest ah thing fi deal with.  But I am trying to prevent. I want the mother to know, of this person here that came and make a simple charge against me and these young men weh deh out yah di fool with people, dehn noh know who dehn di deal with. Talk to unu kids. That’s why when I see young bwai dehn di go missing, I noh feel sorry for dehn, yo know. Sometimes I would want to assist the police. But bwai watch yah, mek I noh go deh. Thats why I lef dehn alone. When somebody come up missing or thing like that, dah dehn look for it. Dehn go fool with people then dehn ma noh know weh dehn di do out yah.  I noh di fool with nobody. I noh have nothing over mi head. I noh gwen go hide dah bush go fool with nobody. I deh out yah. Everybody know who is Joseph Budna. I noh di hide from the public because I noh di fool with nobody. Anyway, police get them, dehn bring them ina di mobile and ask me if I wah give wah report. I tell them definitely I wah give wah report cause I di try fi prevent problem. When I sit down and the WPC on Friday tried to take my statement, she was instructed not to take any statement from me and not to issue me any medical legal form, because one of them knock me with a steel knuckle right yah behind mi head and I get wah knock behind yah.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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