A 28-year-old man today pleaded guilty before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court to assaulting a snow cone vendor and damaging his property.
According to the facts presented by the prosecutor, Rasheed Omar Haynes of 5th Avenue Alkins Land, Eagle Hall, St Michael committed the offence yesterday.
The snow cone vendor, Dizai Worrell, was plying his trade along Eagle Hall around 11:15 a.m. when Haynes became vocal with the complainant who was serving a customer.
Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim said Worrell returned the customer’s money and left. However, Haynes took up a rock, followed the vendor and threw the rock at him. Worrell was able to dodge the rock and went on to serve other customers.
Haynes approached him again and grabbed the umbrella on the cart and pulled it down.
Mohia Ma’at, who is Haynes’ attorney, pleaded for leniency for his client who is known to the court.
“He has not wasted the court’s time and is remorseful. . . . [It is] quite ironic that the virtual complainant and the accused man were once neighbours, and for that reason he is remorseful. Although he has previous convictions, they are of some degree of vintage,” Ma’at argued.
However, Magistrate Douglas Frederick said the facts portrayed Haynes as a “bully”.
“That’s the picture that I am getting. A man selling his snow cone . . . and he intervened . . . pelt a rock . . . and if that was not enough, he grabbed the man’s umbrella and damaged it. He sounds like a bully to me . . . . . I am not hearing anywhere that the snow cone vendor hit back. . . . He is trying to make a living. . . . You could have killed him,” the magistrate said.
Ma’at countered that his client was doing what he considered his “civic duty” at the time by “standing up for a young girl who had not received her change from the complainant”.
“I ain’t went to kill him or anything so,” said Haynes, as he got an opportunity to explain to Magistrate Frederick exactly what took place yesterday.
He told the court that he was trying to purchase a $7 cup of snow cone from the vendor, “but he didn’t give me sufficient for my money. . . so I tell he I don’t want [it] . . . but [this] little girl give he $10 and he didn’t give her back her [change]”.
Haynes said he then confronted Worrell about the situation. However, the magistrate informed him that the matter was none of his concern, as no one had asked him to collect the change on their behalf.
“I confront he about the money and he tell me he don’t know what I talking about. I did take up the stone . . . and the vendor on the side telling he juk me, juk me and he step forward. So I pelt the rock. . . . I ain’t taking no juk,” Haynes added.
The magistrate questioned why he was “still advancing” on someone after he heard “juk him”.
“So how do we deal with a bully, where is the best place for you?” Frederick asked.
“Home, Sir,” Haynes replied.
The matter was then adjourned to Friday when Haynes and Worrell are expected to appear in court.
“In the meantime, check out the price of an umbrella,” the magistrate advised Haynes before he left the dock.