An unauthorized performance by Bajan artiste Timothy Rugrat St Pierre on a counter at popular fast food restaurant Chefette, on the last day of 2019, has landed him in prison for a week.
In remanding St Pierre to HMP Dodds until January 10, Magistrate Douglas Frederick said a strong message had to be sent that such behaviour would not be condoned.
He said failure to treat the offence as a serious one might result in a trend being set.
The 27-year-old farmer of King William Street, Nelson Street, St Michael, had pleaded guilty in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court to entering Chefette’s Lower Broad Street branch and misconducting himself by behaving in an annoying manner on December 31, 2019.
According to prosecutor Sergeant Vernon Waithe, instead of placing an order when he entered the establishment, St Pierre jumped on the counter where customers collect their food and began chanting, causing people to move away from the area.
He then jumped off the counter and began dancing, further shocking management and customers.
Two people recorded the incident.
In the 30-second video which was circulated, St Pierre, clad in a black t-shirt, white short jeans and sandals, is seen jumping onto the counter between customers.
He then shouts: “I wanna large off the girls bumpers big like Bob Marley funeral. Wanna feel I does hurt my head when my woman quarreling wid me and arguing? You know wha I does do? I does lay she down and **** she ****** to see where she coming from.”
In his explanation, an apologetic St Pierre said he was a “big artiste” whose intention was to entertain the customers.
“I perform on Baje to the World and I was just trying to entertain the persons at Chefette,” he said.
But the magistrate chided St Pierre for his actions, telling him that he should know better.
Frederick said the fact that the video had been making the rounds on social media made it even more serious.
“You say that you are an artiste, and if that is true you would know that you have to seek permission to perform on someone’s property. And you should know you can’t jump on the counter where people are getting their food,” he said.
“You have a responsibility as an artiste. I feel like sending you to prison because the next thing you would have other people doing this. I don’t want this to become a trend.
“And how are you going to repair this damage, because once something goes out on social media it can’t be pulled back,” Magistrate Frederick maintained.
St Pierre then offered to put pen to paper to show how sorry he was for what he had done.
“I apologize to you, Sir, and I apologize to the owner of Chefette….I am even willing to do an apology song,” he responded.
Chefette’s security manager Shawn Thornhill, who was also present in court, said the incident had brought shame on the popular establishment.
“The incident has damaged the reputation of the company. When the owner [of Chefette] saw the video on social media he was very embarrassed,” Thornhill told the court.