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Man Claims He Violated Curfew After Helping Strangers

By Farrah Johnson

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A magistrate on Friday discharged a man who claimed he violated the curfew because he decided to help two strangers who flagged him down for a ride on his way back home from running an errand.

Jean-Mary Jean, 54, was arrested after officers found him in the Cowpen Road area around 9.30am on August 8.

He pleaded guilty to violating the curfew during a hearing before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes. Still, he was discharged after he told the magistrate he had left his home to go to the pharmacy, but had stopped to give a ride to two hitchhikers who he didn’t know.

Jean said he left his home to go to a pharmacy to pick up his diabetes medication. He said on his way back, a Haitian man and woman flagged him down and asked if he could give them a ride. Jean said the pair promised to give him gas money so he agreed. He said they were stopped by police a short time later.

On Friday, the two hitchhikers were also charged for violating the curfew, but failed to appear in court for their arraignment. As a result, a warrant was issued for their arrests.

And after listening to Jean's explanation, Magistrate Forbes told him he should follow the law instead of trying to be a good Samaritan and dismissed the case.

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