After what he described as an “unpleasant” situation in front of his Rodney Bay bar, Housing Minister Stanley Felix said police officers were merely exercising their duties in accordance with their interpretation of the prevailing law when they arrested him last weekend.
In a press statement issued today, May 14 bearing his signature, Felix confirmed his arrest for allegedly playing loud music at his business, the Q-Bar on May 10 about 3:15 a.m.
Although in his account of the incident, Felix noted that he did not resist the police, he said he harbours no ill will or malice toward the lawmen.
In providing an explanation for his arrest, he recalled that while at the bar he noticed that a police patrol vehicle came to a halt near his premises, and realising the officers were looking in the direction of his bar, he left the building and approached them.
“I addressed the officers … one of them asked me to shut down the music … I sought to remind the police officer that the Q-Bar is not known for playing loud music,” he stated.
Felix also claimed that he was taken aback since the music from the bar could hardly be heard a few feet away. He said he did not think he was creating disturbance.
But one of the officers insisted the music must be shut down.
“Following some back and forth argument over the matter I was told that I was under arrest. While leaning on the police vehicle I was told that I must not lean on the vehicle and must be searched before entering the vehicle.
“The experience was unfortunate and unpleasant, however I have always been and remain a law abiding citizen. I am an attorney-at-law, and being an officer of the court and a member of the executive arm of government, I am fully seized of the responsibilities attendant to these offices,” he explained.
He said many people who were at the bar at the time witnessed what happened. He was driven to the Rodney Bay Sub-Station, a short distance away from his business. He recalled that he was given a chair to sit on and the police officers left shortly after.
“While I was at the sub-station, several individuals who were present at the bar arrived near the station. Approximately 15 minutes later, the two arresting officers returned. A short while after I was told by one of the police that I was free to leave.”
The law as provided in the Criminal Code of Chapter 3.01 states that no person shall operate a loudspeaker in any street or at any public or political meeting unless he or she has been issued a permit under Section 553 to do so.
A person guilty of such an offence could be fined no more than $1000 or imprisoned for no more than a year or receive both punishments.