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#453807 - 12/19/12 07:57 AM "Chicken Dread" Defiant
Marty Offline
Today police were also on Albert Street in the heart of the city shutting down an open-air fried chicken vendor.

For some years now Paul Ferguson known as "Chicken Dread" has been selling fried chicken on the sidewalk across from the commercial center. It's the epicenter of the Albert Street action - and that's where he puts his deep fryer to lure in pedestrians with that unmistakable fried chicken aroma.

But according to City Hall, that aroma - or the fumes from it - has been causing public complaints - and this afternoon Ferguson was shut down. 7news was there and we got both sides of the story:

Jules Vasquez Reporting

His bowl was full of fried chicken his deep frying still bubbling but Paul Ferguson had to go - police and city constables were there to remove him.

Ferguson didn't seem the least bit intimidated; the devout PUP supporter says he's being persecuted because of competition:

Paul Ferguson - Being Removed by City Hall
"He has his dirty restaurant in the Commercial Center which is not making any money, so he is just jealous that I am out here selling chicken. Everybody buys my chicken."

"How long have you been out here selling chicken?"

Paul Ferguson
"I am out here for years, at evening time. It's Christmas time, so I came out here in the afternoon. I am not obstructing justice; I am not obstructing the sidewalk. Look how many people are selling food on the sidewalk? They hate to see me out here. But, you can't keep a good man down. Who God bless, no man curse. They are nothing to me. Now, he wants them to arrest me."

"On what charges?"

Paul Ferguson
"Insulting words, how petty - insulting words, that's how petty he is."

But the Mayor - who became aware of it after we inquired - says it's not petty or political at all:

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council
"Under my watch and my leadership, we have taken deliberate steps to be apolitical. We've tried to apply our policies and rules across the board. The issue with peddler is that we had received complaints in relation to certain health issues, and in relation to the locality in which that person is. Again, this is not something that I deal with myself. I've been briefed by persons who are in charge of this section, and they had indicated that they had received complaints in terms of smoke, in terms of the preparation of food, and several different issues. And, if this person was not asked to move, or move by the City Council, the Public Health Department would have asked the person to move also."

But Ferguson made an emphatic grandstand - and as police and city constables stood around - eventually bringing some closure:

And so after much fuss and fuming, exciting public interest and sympathy, eventually….he counted his money handied it to his sister and started packing things up and cleaning up - still with a defiant cry

Paul Ferguson
"Don't worry people, I'll be back. This is only temporary."

And as he left in a police vehicle:

Paul Ferguson
"I am a soldier. I stand up for what I believe in, and they won't stop me. I will be back."

But the mayor says not if he has his way:

Darrell Bradley
"It's not that we are telling the person that he cannot open anywhere; he cannot operate as a peddler. We just don't want that person to be where that person is, and if that person is choosing to sell food to the public, he needs to meet a basic set of standards that's not prescribed by the City. It's prescribed by the health professionals. But the reality that any persons who vendors, has to maintain a minimum health status, in terms of how they prepared food, and how they conduct themselves on the street. And of course, we have to move to a policy, where we try ot discourage street side vendors."

Jules Vasquez
"He's been there for a while too. He's been there for years."

Darrell Bradley
"No, but Jules, a lots of things are going to come from the City Council that people do not like."

Paul Ferguson was charged for insulting words and he was released on sign-bail.

Ever-defiant, he is back at the same spot this evening.

Channel 7

#453808 - 12/19/12 07:59 AM Re: "Chicken Dread" Defiant [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Fried Chicken Ferguson Is Back

And before we close we have a quick update on a stories we ran earlier in the newscast. The so called Chicken Dread Paul Ferguson was picked up today for insulting words - and the Belize city Mayor also said he had been generating too much fumes at his open air location.

But tonight, he is back at his spot. A few minutes ago, he told Daniel Ortiz why he came back:

Daniel Ortiz
"You are testing the patience of the City Council. Why is that, sir?"

Paul Ferguson - Resisting City Hall
"First thing, the Mayor is a liar, and the Mayor never gave me any warning. The Mayor never told me anything about someone has a health issue with me. What health issue is that, sir? All the Spanish who are selling in the park area, why don't they go and move them? All the people selling on the sidewalk, why don't they move them? Why now will they think about moving me? I am doing this for year, before Mr. Bradley even got into the Mayor's office. I am doing this for years out here. Who is it that's complaining? An Indian man said that I am bothering him because some oil went under his shutter. It's him who's complaining; it's only him. Who else is complaining? Let us be really. So, why doesn't the Mayor come out here and see me? Why did he send one of his cronies? Why did they only charge me for insulting words? Charge me for obstruction; I am selling on the sidewalk. Why didn't they implement those charges against me? Come on, man, let's be real."

Daniel Ortiz
"So, will you continue to operate?"

Paul Ferguson - Resisting City Hall
"Of course, every time they lock me up, and I come out back, I will do the same thing."

Ferguson says he has no intention of moving from that corner - and even if he is jailed, he will return.

Channel 7

#453872 - 12/20/12 07:57 AM Re: "Chicken Dread" Defiant [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Fuss Over Fried Chicken: Chicken Dread Pleads Guilty, But Defiant

When we left you last night Paul Ferguson known as the Chicken Dread - was defiantly back on Albert Street selling his fried chicken. That's after the City constables and the police went to remove him from that spot yesterday afternoon.

The police were there to arrest him because he had used insulting words on the head of the City Constables.

Ferguson went with the police, took his charge, got sign bail and went right back to his spot. More on that later, but today he went to court for arraignment on the charge. He told us what happened:

Paul Ferguson - Fried Chicken Vendor
"Yes sir, I went in front of the magistrate. I pleaded guilty. I did insult the man. I am a man. I insulted him. That's what it is."

Jules Vasquez
"You insulted Mr. Butler."

Paul Ferguson
"Yes, I did. I did insult him."

Jules Vasquez
"So, you pleaded guilty, and got a fine."

Paul Ferguson
"I got a fine of $100 to pay by January 31. But by me selling chicken, hopefully, I can pay the fine by selling chicken."

And so while he pleaded guilty, Ferguson wasn't going out so easy on the fried chicken matter. Last night, after he moved back to his original spot, the city went to move him. And so, he simply went across the street to Mule Park under the Christmas Tree. They moved him again, and that's when he went into the Battlefield Park.

He told us why he's gonna stay at it:

Paul Ferguson
"Well, they moved me from in front of Abdul Building, and I went in front of Mule Park for about 45 minutes to an hour, and the police asked me kindly to move from Mule Park to Battlefield Park, at the request of Mr. Butler, because Mr. Butler claimed that he doesn't want me to sell anywhere in this vicinity."

Jules Vasquez
"Is Mr. Butler in charge of enforcement for the Council?"

Paul Ferguson
"Yes, sir, he is the councilor in charge."

Jules Vasquez
"Well, I spoke to the Mayor yesterday. He said that the Council has gotten complaints about the aroma, the smoke, the hot oil on the street. What do you make of that?"

Paul Ferguson
"I just spoke to the Mayor a few minutes ago, coming out from court, and the Mayor has no knowledge of what's going on. He was briefed about 2 minutes. When the question was put to him by you, he answered to because he claimed the councilor, and I guess the administrator, explained to him that they were getting several complaints from the store owners about me. But, I asked him, if they were getting complaints, why was I moved forthwith? Why wasn't I given a period of time to get stuff out, or tell me, 'Mr. Ferguson, we'll give you 3 days or a week to relocate?' He said that he would look into the matter and get back to me."

Jules Vasquez
"So, what's happening with your business right now."

Paul Ferguson
"Well, I'm going to be selling tonight. It's not going to stop, but I'm just saying that you all don't see me in front of the Abdul Building, I'll be in Battlefield Park. But more than likely, I'll go in front of the building because I talked also to a councilor. I don't want to call the councilor's name, but he said that if I don't take the deep fryer out there, fry the chicken somewhere, take it out there, and put it on a table, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm not going to give up. This is just the beginning, Jules, trust me. I will stand up for what I believe in."

Tonight, Ferguson has set up in front of William Quan, just across the street from his original location.

Channel 7

#454010 - 12/22/12 08:38 AM Re: "Chicken Dread" Defiant [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Chicken vendor is deep fried about City Council’s stop order

Paul Ferguson

It is not over yet for Paul Ferguson, the fried chicken vendor who was removed from in front of Femina Store on Albert Street by Special Constable Selbert Butler on Tuesday. He was arrested, charged and taken to court on Wednesday when he pleaded guilty for insulting Butler. With that matter completed, Ferguson was right back at his stand on Albert Street, where he has been selling his fried chicken for over a year. But even after complying with requests to relocate to the Battlefield Park, he is not yet out of the woods. Just after two this afternoon, Ferguson was served with a stop order by the City Council saying that he is not allowed to sell fry chicken without a trade license with immediate effect. Faced with this new dilemma, Ferguson told News Five that he doesn’t need a trade license because he doesn’t own a business.


Paul Ferguson, Peddler

“It’s very stressful; I tired. Noh tired ah them. I noh wah give up. I still wah fight this to the bitter end. They just issue me wah stop order in a Paul Ferguson’s name. Paul Ferguson doesn’t own a business; doesn’t own a fry chicken business. If y’all can look at it, a summons in Paul Ferguson name. Paul Ferguson doesn’t own a business. I doesn’t own this fry chicken business. So they issued me an order to stop sell chicken on Albert Street. Yes Paul Ferguson will stop sell chicken, but chicken will continue sell on Albert Street. Like I explained to you all before, it is something personal; it is something personal between me and Mister Butler. Mister Butler don’t want me to sell chicken on Albert Street because it hurts his business in the commercial center. If you go down Albert Street and look at all these people selling stuff on Albert Street, none of these people have trade license. So why they want me to get a trade license? This is called peddling; we are all peddlers. But now I realize that it is something personal and direct—that they want to remove me from this area.  The stop order was handed to me a few minutes ago. They tried to locate me yesterday, but they couldn’t find me yesterday so they went to update it and brought the summons for me today.”


Duane Moody

“But didn’t they say when the issue first came to light that they wouldn’t have a problem if you moved from that location into the battlefield Park. Now you’re here and there is still a problem with you being out here selling?”


Paul Ferguson

“And that was from out of the mayor’s mouth. Mayor Bradley said that we don’t have a problem with the man relocating. We offered him several times to go to the battlefield Park. Now I am here at the Battlefield Park and now you don’t want me to sell in Battlefield Park. But like I said before, Paul Ferguson doesn’t own a business. This stop order was issued to Paul Ferguson, so they can’t stop the fry chicken from selling on Albert Street. The fry chicken will continue to sell on Albert Street.”


Ferguson says that he will turn up the heat by seeking legal advice.

Channel 5


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