By FARRAH JOHNSON
SIX people were arraigned yesterday for violating the national curfew, including a man who police allege slapped a woman in their presence.
Nathan Mareu was charged with violating the national curfew after he was found in the Marathon Road area Wednesday night.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $250 or three months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
According to the facts, around 8.20pm that night, officers observed a vehicle parked in front of Galleria Cinemas with a male and female occupant inside. When questioned, Mareu told officers he was using the ATM. The prosecutor, Sergeant Kendrick Bauld said Mareau then slapped the female occupant and told her to go to the ATM. Sergeant Bauld said the young lady chose not to file a complaint.
In an interview with police, Mareu admitted to committing the offence and was subsequently cautioned and charged.
When given an opportunity to speak, he told Magistrate Kara Turnquest-Deveaux that he did not slap his female passenger and added she could even “vouch” for him.
He also told the judge he only broke the curfew because he was picking up the woman passenger, who worked at the Wendy’s near Marathon Mall. He said they had stopped at the ATM on their way out.
Meanwhile, Tedneyceo Cooper, 21, appeared before Magistrate Turnquest-Deveaux charged with threatening his brother, Geeno Haughton, with harm on March 19 and violating the curfew.
Cooper pleaded not guilty to the threats of harm charge and was granted $500 bail with one sureter. The matter was adjourned to June 8 for trial.
However he admitted to violating the national curfew and told the judge he lived with his cousin who had to pick up his girlfriend at 9.30pm that night. He told the judge he broke the curfew because his cousin did not feel comfortable leaving him home so he took him along for the ride.
Magistrate Turnquest-Deveaux accepted Cooper’s guilty plea and gave him 100 hours of community service and told him to return to court on June 8 to pick up a community service letter.
Cooper’s cousin, Donavan Stubbs, 23, was also charged with violating the curfew after police found him in the Blue Hill Road area during curfew hours.
Stubbs pleaded guilty to the charge and was also given 100 hours of community service.
According to the Sergeant Bauld, officers on mobile patrol on Tuesday observed a Honda Accord travelling north on Blue Hill Road and asked the car to stop. The occupants were then asked why they were on the road and if they were aware of the curfew.
Sergeant Bauld said Stubbs told him he was going to pick up his girlfriend at 11.30 that night. During a record of interview with police, Stubbs also admitted to the offence and was cautioned and charged.
When given an opportunity to speak, Stubbs told Magistrate Turnquest-Deveaux that he went to pick up his “baby mother” who had gotten off from work at 7pm that night. He also told the judge he couldn’t go for her earlier because he had fallen asleep, so when he woke up later that night, he “tried to take a chance” to get her.
In response, Magistrate Turnquest-Deveaux said she would exercise her discretion and not impose a custodial sentence. As a result, Stubbs was given community service and told to pick up a community service letter on June 8.
A 59-year-old man also pleaded guilty to violating the national curfew after he was found riding his bicycle in the area of Poinciana Drive around 8.55pm on Tuesday night.
Cedric Stockdale told the judge he did not realise the curfew had been extended to 24-hours. He also said he thought the 9pm-5am curfew was still in effect and the curfew only prohibited gatherings on parks, public beaches and ports of entry.
He insisted that he was on his way home when he was stopped and questioned by police.
In response, Magistrate Turnquest-Deveaux explained he was only allowed to leave his house for essential services like grocery shopping. However, the defendant said he didn’t have any money to go shopping.
As a result, Stockdale was cautioned to stay in his house and encouraged to apply to the Department of Social Services for assistance.
Deon Johnson, 44, also pleaded guilty to violating the curfew on Wednesday night.
According to Sergeant Bauld, around 7.30pm that night, officers conducting checks on mobile patrol observed a Honda Accord with one male occupant. They beckoned for the vehicle to stop and questioned the driver, who told them he was aware of the curfew but was heading home from work.
Johnson told the judge that he acted as a security guard for a lady who owned a small shop. He explained that he was helping her out because a number of people come in and out of her shop and she is usually the only there.
Johnson was subsequently fined $150 or two months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
Beckley Joseph, 28, was also charged after police found him in the area of Montrose Avenue Wednesday night.
Joseph, who works as a car washer, pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $250 or three months at BDCS.
According to the prosecutor, police in the Montrose Avenue area observed a male walking towards an apartment complex. When questioned by officers, Joseph said he was headed to his cousin.
However, when police questioned the people living in the apartment complex, they told officers that they were not familiar with the defendant.
When given an opportunity to speak, Joseph told Magistrate Turnquest-Deveaux that he had discovered his cousin was no longer living in the complex because he had just moved out.
He also asked her for a “second chance” and promised that he would not commit the offence again.