Sunday 29 March, 2020

Man accused of kicking schoolgirl in the face during bus 'fight'

Entering a bus in Jamaica can be harrowing, especially during peak hours when persons are forced to flood bus stations to access the sometimes limited transportation. 

Many times these encounters can trigger chaotic situations as was played out between an adult male and a teenage girl, who got in a tussle while they were both trying to board a bus in downtown Kingston recently.

That incident ended with the male being hauled before the court to answer to cruelty to a minor charge after he was accused of kicking the teenager in the face squeezing her throat, among other abuses.

The teenager, according to the male, used a knife to stab him over one of his eyes.

The man identified as Jermaine Gayle pleaded guilty with an explanation when he appeared before Senior Parish judge Vaughn Smith in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Friday.

The allegations are that the child and her friends were at the bus terminus in South Parade and were attempting to board a bus to Portmore, St Catherine.

The child told police that Gayle started to elbow her repeatedly and when she attempted to defend herself, he held her and squeezed her neck before hurling her into the windscreen of the public passenger vehicle. She complained that Gayle even went further and kicked her in the face.

But Gayle, while accepting that he did resort to violence, told the court he had no other option.

“I was third in line. I allowed her to step in front of me. When she was going in, her bag fell and she swung and hit me in the chest. I said why unu haffi go on like pig so? Your Honour, she slapped me in my face and that is what caused me to push her in the windscreen,” Gayle told the court.

The accused man testified that the child then rained down a series of blows to his face.

“My face was swollen and she started hitting me again,” he said.

“I held on to the railing and fended her off with my feet,” he added. Gayle said after the scuffle was broken up he retreated to the back of the bus and thought the incident was over and done with.

But, he said, the child had other ideas. “She came with a knife and stabbed me above my eye,” he claimed.

The complainant had another side to the story. She told the court that Gayle was very abusive and violent and kicked her more than once.

“I slapped him twice to defend myself, Your Honour,” the child said. It was then revealed that the entire incident was captured on a closed-circuit television camera that is installed on all JUTC buses.

The judge then decided that the footage had to be reviewed by the court to determine who was telling the truth and ordered that the footage be brought to court when the matter will next be heard on July 25.

Gayle had his bail extended until that time.




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