The Daily Herald reports that Police Officer Wingrove Baker confirmed the arrest of a man in Windwardside on Friday, because the police considered him as not properly clothed. Baker explained the man was arrested for violation of Article 470 of the Criminal Code and Article 31 of the Island Ordinance promoting public order and community protection. Baker stated that “based on these articles, the person in question was summoned to clothe himself properly and completely on the public road and before entering the supermarket. The suspect did not adhere to the summons from the police officer, which was a violation of Article 190 of the Criminal Code. Upon being told that he was under arrest, he fought with the police.” The police also confirmed that the suspect was held for questioning and released the same day, with the case being processed and forwarded to the Criminal Court.
Ernest “Cuchie” Klaber, a former political candidate on the Saba Labour Party list was interviewed on his version of the incident. Klaber is a truck driver delivering water to customers. Klaber described the incident, which occurred at Big Rock supermarket in Windwardside around 2:00pm. He said that while standing in line at the cashier, another customer, whom he knew is a police officer, told him to put on a shirt. He refused. “I have been delivering water shirtless for years and I still don’t believe that I broke any law. I am not aware of any regulation about a dress code, and if there is, I wonder why it has never been enforced until last Friday.”
He pointed that the person apprehending him did not wear a uniform and was clearly off-duty, buying groceries. Klaber also said that the store owners had not asked him to put on a shirt. Klaber stated that the police officer pushed him out of the store onto the intersection. Not expecting this kind of aggression, Klaber said he had defended himself because he believed that the man “had no right to touch me.” “He harassed me. I had to put my hands on him to protect myself,” he said, showing small scars on his hand from the struggle. Klaber said he was held six hours for questioning. Asked if the officer had explained his actions, Klaber said the officer only told him he was under arrest. Klaber believes the officer “clearly” wanted to provoke the incident. The officer involved has a reputation on the island for bravado remarks on “cleaningup the island,” according to Klaber.