Police close Carnival Village Sunday after multiple fights | THE DAILY HERALD

A police officer (right) and a member of the Royal Marechaussee maintaining order at the Carnival Village on Sunday evening.

~ Last Lap Jump-Up cancelled ~

ST. EUSTATIUS–Carnival City (Mike van Putten Youth Centre) was temporarily closed by the Police Department on Sunday night due to multiple fights just before the winning troupe in the Grand Parade was announced. The fights led government Commissioner Marcolino “Mike” Franco and the Police to order the cancellation of Monday evening’s Last Lap Jump-Up.

Police announced over the loudspeaker that the Village was to be closed and asked everyone to leave. They also told booth-holders to close their booths. Some of them complied while others loudly objected. The three bands that played on the trucks during the Parade were escorted outside by the Police. The Village was opened back after the situation calmed down.

The fights caused quite some commotion in the crowd, with people rushing towards the booths to see the fights taking place, while others ran in the opposite direction away from the fights.

The Police had a difficult time in maintaining public order, as they quelled a fight while another broke out in different location.

The persons who were injured in the fights were attended to by medical personnel at Carnival City. Another person fell ill in an unrelated incident and was taken in an ambulance on a stretcher.

Chief of Basic Police Care Inspector Robelto Hodge said officers were not able to guarantee public safety and order, and, therefore, closed the Carnival Village.

“Too many different fights were going on at different locations with two men injured. The permit clearly states that in the event of any public disorder or disturbances the Police is authorised to take action, and that includes stopping the event. We sympathise with the booth holders, but we can’t put a price on persons’ lives,” Hodge said.

The situation was evaluated on Monday during a meeting concerning the Last Lap Jump-Up. Government Commissioner Franco and the Chief of Police made the decision to cancel the Last Lap. Despite the cancellation, festivities took place at Carnival Village on Monday night.

Franco said it was “unfortunate” that fights broke out in Carnival Village after a two-week period in which all activities took place “in a good, orderly way.”

“Today, the Police had an evaluation, and with the information they have advised not to proceed with the Last Lap because this march would pass certain areas that do not have sufficient lighting. And in this way, the Police cannot guarantee to maintain public order and keep everybody safe. This resulted in a decision to cancel the Last Lap but to continue all activities in the Village tonight. I discussed this with the Carnival Committee after this measure was taken. Let us all go to the Carnival Village tonight with a positive attitude and leave our differences at home. Let’s celebrate the Carnival closure with the burning of King Momo on a positive note,” Franco said Monday.

Members in the public said they were upset about the decision to cancel the Jump-Up and about Sunday’s closure of the Village. Some said they understood the decision but were upset nonetheless as they travelled from overseas to take part in Statia’s Carnival. This was the first time the Village was ordered closed and the first time a Jump-Up was cancelled due to disturbances.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79118-police-close-carnival-village-sunday-after-multiple-fights