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Almost getting arrest in Jamaica

How I met my wife


Story about how I almost got arrested in Jamaica as a Peace Corps Voluteer


Hey everybody....I think now is a good time to send out another email about how my life is now in Jamaica and the Peace Corps. I am approaching the 11 month mark for me being here and am gonna assume that the next year will fly by. I am still doing the Adult Literacy class and am trying to get people to sign up for my next computer classes. I'm gonna hold a spelling bee hopefully by next week with my school and I have some really cool prizes.

I just got back from foreign (the states) a couple of days ago. It's pretty weird that I left Jamaica to go on vacation...you know, because everybody usually comes here...get it?...hehe...yea whatever...anyway, I had a good time. I really looked at back home in a different way than I usually did when I got back because I was constantly comparing everything to here. The nice roads, the options one has with everything and the customer service...but I also missed the community feeling, the coconut stands, beautiful weather, and the overall Caribbean flava...I got an adapter for my digital camera so my picture page on my homepage will be updated shortly. (give it a month)

I had quite the situation on Saturday, however. Let me start from the beginning. I travelled to my favorite little restaurant to eat some chicken, rice and peas and just ponder over the intricacies of life while I gaze at the beautiful blue enchanting sea that calls to me like a wolf calls to the moon. But alas the night that never was, was never meant to be...beings as the place closed down because the owner was involved in some conspiracy that ended up with a judges throat slashed. I mean, you just can't do shit like that. Does she have any idea that she ruined my night? On the flip side I did have a reunion with a lot of people that I haven't seen for awhile and we had a couple of beers and talked (and I really mean a couple). Well, night fell upon us so I decided that I should leave and so I left with two Jamaican friends to go down the road. As I approached the square I was called upon by a good ol friend of mine across the street. As I was walking my bike I let one of my friends hold onto my bike for me so that I could cross and chat for a bit.

A few moments later my friend ran up to me and said that some guy just took my bike. "Huh?..whaddya mean some guy just took my bike?" I look across the street and some dude is walking off with my bike. What the hell is this crap I thought to myself in total confusion. I, as a man who thinks on his feet and reacts accordingly, raced to this guy and demanded to have my bike back. He was clearly drunk and exclaimed that I was not to have my bike back. Oh yea??...I have a bunch of my thuggish looking friends right behind and me and they say that I'm gonna have my bike back. He asks me if this is my bike which I explain to him that I just told him it was. He pushed me into the police station and yelled that it didn't have a light on it...who knew...it was a cop.

Well one by one he was throwing people into the police station like flies. The guy was belligerent and did not hide the fact that he was drunk at all. I'm not very happy at this point, to say the least and had to kindly remind the police that they were incompetent morons and did not have any clue on how to do their jobs. Apparently I was too kind as evident by their changed demeanor. One friend was not handling this well at all and started to become out of control. He was punching boxes, breathing heavily and started to kind of cry in a state of rage. Yea, they ended up handcuffing him to the safe. The other friend would not listen to the police by not sitting down so they handcuffed him to a filing cabinet.

I tried to make sense of all this madness by asking the other police officers if they were aware that a drunk officer was throwing people in jail (actually it wasn't jail but at the time I was on my way there) they just told me to tell it to the judge. "You can't do this to me....I'm American!!" That didn't work. "You can't do this to me...I'm a volunteer giving my life for two years for your community" They weren't listening. In the meantime I was on and off the phone with Peace Corps who was on their way to come get me. They told me that they finally got through to somebody and they said that they were gonna charge me with...get this....aiding and abetting a person riding a bicycle without a light.

The police inspector comes in and talks to us. He tells the drunken police officer to go get my bike. The officer wheels in this bike and lays it on the wall. "Now, the police inspector says...we have a problem here...your bike"..."that's not my bike" I exclaim, interrupting him. "huh?" "that's not my bike" So, the drunken officer goes out and gets another bike. He wheels in a bike that resembles the one you see clowns use at the circus. "try again" where the hell are all these bikes coming from I wonder. There is now a huge crowd outside the police station wandering what is going on. I believe it was mostly curiosity in seeing the local white man about to be thrown in jail. I just hope a riot doesn't ensue because of this. The third time was the charm. He tries to explain to me that riding a bicycle without a light is against the law. I told him that I understood that but I wasn't riding it...it was being walked...and not only that but the person who was actually walking it is not even in here.

Well, the officers can't lose face so they don't admit that they were wrong. After some time the officers got into a huddle of some sort and I overheard one of them say...."you mean to tell me I arrested a Peace Corps Volunteer!?!?" You would not believe the change of attitude. Of course we were all let go moments later. I later found out that the guy was not even a cop but a CD (I'm not sure what that is but it's something like a constabulary guy. Basically he doesn't have the training to be a cop but has the power to arrest people. Some communities in Jamaica typically do this to residents who know the community well.

This situation could have definitely turned out worse than it did but I just wanted to share this story with all of you. It's actually pretty humorous but the fact remains that police in this country are not very well trained. And this could be serious if I ever needed to depend on the police. Hopefully I will be able to turn to the community for help if need be....and hopefully it will never be the community that I will need help from. I don't foresee that happening due to not getting involved in a lot of bad situations but you never know.

Hope everybody is doing well and I will send out another email soon and let you know "wagwaan in da land of wood and wata"

One Love,
Jesse Beck


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