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BELMOPAN BRAWL TURNS BLOODY – POLICE SAY MINOR INCIDENT

BELMOPAN BRAWL TURNS BLOODY – POLICE SAY MINOR INCIDENT
October 17
17:39 2018

REPORTER: News Staff, –

There is considerable outcry based on the allegation that the charge levelled against the primary attacker did not fit the gravity of the outrageous assault.

While we were informed that the incident happened on Sunday, October 7th, it was never reported to the media and we only became aware of the situation after one of the victims reached out on social media expressing her discontent with the charge of aggravated assault and $500 fine against one of her attackers, who has been identified as Michael Rowland.

A female witness who was also injured during the commotion told us that the two male victims were rushed to the hospital with stab and cut wounds to their stomach, face, arm, and back which left one of them hospitalized for an entire week and the other for three days.

But despite their injuries, we were made to understand that none of the men wanted to press criminal charges against their attackers for fear of retaliation and as such Police only managed to level charges against Rowland for injuries caused to Bethania Ponce.

Late Wednesday evening when we spoke to Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Station Sup. Henry Jemott, he told us that the incident was never brought to the attention of the media since it was a “minor” one.

Jemott further explained that “each person was given a medico-legal form and based on the classification of the injuries that the doctor gave that is what Police go by in determining the charges. Once the doctors have classified that the wounds are not life-threatening and just a flesh wound then we cannot go against that.”

Jemott further added that the incident was a “bar brawl” and that “all parties involved were charged with injuries caused to each other.”

While that is Jemott’s explanation we contacted Ponce who vehemently denied such claims and said that she was never charged with any offense and is certain that the two men who were badly injured when they came to her aid were not charged either.

In an interview with the Reporter, Ponce explained that on that Sunday she along with three female friends went to order fajitas at Palacio’s Restaurant and Bar and it was while exiting that she was approached by Rowland who told her “Your bredda noh deh deal with my sistah right…. and fuh that you wah pay” which was when Rowland punched her to the face and then went on to threaten the lives of her other family members.

“I was punched by him in revenge for a situation I do not know about. I was attacked by two strong, healthy individuals who later claimed that they were drunk and did not remember what occurred. This incident left me scarred not only physically but emotionally,” Ponce told us.

One eyewitness told us that she observed as Ponce was being yelled at by a man and saw when he broke a bottle and placed it at her neck, which was when she was pulled away by one of her female friends, resulting in a cut to her blouse.

The witness recounted that that seems to have sent the male individual into a frenzy and he landed a solid punch on Ponce’s face which knocked her completely off her feet and prompted the two male individuals to jump to the woman’s defense to prevent further injuries to her.

We were told that when the trio went to seek medical attention they were followed by Rowland and his brother who allegedly attacked them once more in the presence of two police officers at the Western Regional Hospital.

Ponce told us that she is not satisfied with the charge against Rowland and it seems to have been just a slight spank on the wrist. “Where can I rely if the system is not helping victims like myself? Rowland is an abuser and should have been treated like one. Today I stand up for all women that are victims of abuse like myself….let’s stop the violence against women.”

Jemott told the Reporter that he has recommended that the establishment in question, along with two others be closed down due to the emergence of unruly behavior.

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