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Driver Without Mask Fined After He Is Pulled Over

By FARRAH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A 43-year-old man was yesterday fined $200 for failing to wear a mask while he was outside of his home.

Bernard Cooper was accused of committing the offence while driving along West Bay Street around 11.35pm on July 9. He pleaded guilty to violating the requirement to wear a mask during his arraignment before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes yesterday.

Prosecutor Lincoln McKenzie said on the night in question, officers pulled over Cooper’s Ford Explorer truck. When they asked the defendant why he was not wearing a mask, he told them he did not have one. As a result he was arrested. During an interview with police a short time later, he admitted to the offence.

After fining Cooper $200 or one month at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, Magistrate Forbes told the defendant while his mask doesn’t have to cover his mouth and nose when he was driving alone, he should still have one on his neck or nearby to ensure that when he left his truck, he would not be in violation of the COVID-19 emergency orders.

Meanwhile, Willie Timothy, 50, was also charged after officers saw him on Arawak Cay without a face mask on July 12. He pleaded guilty, but was discharged after he explained that he had left his mother’s fruit stand to get a soda from across the street. Timothy said when the officers questioned him, he asked them if he could return to the stand to get a mask but they told him no. He also claimed that the officers who arrested him were not wearing face masks, nor were the other people who were around him at the time.

Three people were also charged with violating the national curfew yesterday.

Anthony Thompson, 29, and Jerome Kelly, 28, appeared before Magistrate Forbes after officers found them on East Street around 10.25pm on July 10. They both pleaded guilty and were each fined $350 or two months in prison.

Likewise, two men who violated the national curfew on July 12 were also charged with unlawful possession after they were found with a red heavy duty car jack that officers believed had been stolen.

Adrian Hamilton, 48, and Theophilus Bonamy, 31, pleaded guilty to both charges in a hearing before Magistrate Kara Turnquest-Deveaux yesterday, and were each fined $350 or one month in prison for violating the national curfew and another $150 for unlawful possession.

Prosecutor Kendrick Bauld said when officers questioned the men that night, they could not give a satisfactory account of their whereabouts. Still, during the arraignment, both Hamilton and Bonamy claimed that they were having car problems and had taken the jack from a mechanic’s yard a few feet away to fix a tyre. Still, Hamilton admitted that the two had no excuse for violating the curfew.

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