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12/05/12 08:40 AM
12/05/12 08:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,148
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Tourism Minister or police? Female cop’s superiors did not know of her sudden transfer, without a replacement!

A female police corporal in charge of the Tourist Police Unit San Pedro Branch has been transferred back to Belize City as of Saturday, December 15, after she charged a female American tourist in court, allegedly against the wishes of Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia.

Woman Corporal Sharmane Young, a veteran tourist police officer of 15 years, told Amandala today that she is angry, because she believes that she is being punished because she did her job – to wit, she charged the American woman, Lisa Marie Merz, 43, a nurse from Syracuse, New York, with using indecent words, using insulting words, boisterous behavior, assaulting a uniformed police officer and resisting lawful police arrest.

Police said that they were on patrol along the beachfront in San Pedro around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, when they saw and searched a man who they believe was selling drugs to the tourists. One of the tourists, a woman, began to curse at the drugs vendor loudly, saying that the drugs were fake. She had demanded to witness the searching of the vendor, and when the police declined her request, she allegedly began to shout profanities at them.

Corporal Young, who came to see what was happening, asked the tourist to discontinue her behavior, but the woman reportedly continued cursing at them on Barrier Reef Drive. Police claimed that after she was warned, Merz swore at the corporal again and that’s when Young told her that she was under arrest.

It is claimed by police that when they arrested Merz, she pushed Corporal Young to the ground with both of her hands, and began to utter more obscenities, after which, according to police, she resisted arrest by walking away.

Police who responded to the incident restrained Merz and took her into custody. While in custody, police say, Merz continued to utter profanities at Young.

She was given police bail and ordered to appear in court on Tuesday, November 27, before Resident Magistrate Sheraine Rodriguez. On that court date, Merz pleaded guilty to four of the charges, but not guilty to the charge of “assaulting a uniformed police officer.”

She was ordered to reappear in court on Friday, November 30, for a quick trial for the pending charge.

On Friday, however, she was found guilty of the charge of ”assaulting a uniformed police officer,” and fined. The total fines are as follows: assaulting a uniformed police officer, $800; use of indecent words, $100; use of insulting words, $100; boisterous behavior, $50, and resisting arrest, $300, to a total of $1,350, which Merz was ordered to pay forthwith.

According to the San Pedro Sun of Friday, November 30, 2012, however, Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, Jr., had visited the police station to inquire about Merz after he received the report that a tourist was in custody and not properly treated.

According to the newspaper, Heredia was not happy when he was told that Merz would have to be detained until Tuesday, November 27, and that Corporal Young would take her to court on that date.

According to Corporal Young, Heredia had ordered that Merz be released immediately without charges, but the police did not release her and the charges were levied against her.

According to the San Pedro Sun, that same Saturday, November 24, the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson, had instructed that Merz be granted bail, which was done. Merz was then ordered to be at the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, November 27.

Of note, however, is the fact that Corporal Young, who had not been working on the island for long, was given an immediate transfer effective Monday, November 26, reportedly to Placencia, according to the Sun. She had asked for an extension of the date, to December 15, and was given it, but no one has been found to replace her as yet, and Young was given no reason for her immediate transfer.

However, Senior Superintendent Miguel Guzman, Deputy Commanding Officer of the Belize District Police (Eastern Division) told Amandala today, Monday, that transfers have a financial cost to them, and people are not transferred arbitrarily. However, there are inter-unit transfers which are done internally, he said.

Transfers are normally planned from Belmopan, Guzman said, and they at the Racoon Street Belize District Police Headquarters did not know about Corporal Young’s transfer, the notification of which should have come to them first, and then the instructions would have been sent to her through her unit headquarters.

Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia could not be contacted today, despite many repeated attempts.


Cop transferred from the island after arresting tourist

Sharmane Young

There is another story involving a police, but this time, the female corporal is being removed from the San Pedro Police Unit after a US tourist was charged and arrested in the island. P.C. Sharmane Young was reportedly cursed and manhandled by Liza Marie Mertz, a nurse from Syracuse who was vacationing in the island. Mertz was charged with using indecent and insulting words, boisterous behavior, resisting lawful police arrest and assaulting a uniformed police officer on November twenty-fourth during a search of a man who was allegedly selling drugs. Mertz reportedly displayed unbecoming behavior and when she was told she was about to be arrested, she resisted and hurled obscenities at Young.  According to the San Pedro Sun, there was interference by both the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Tourism. Minister Manuel Heredia visited the San Pedro police station to inquire about Mertz and was not too happy that she had been detained and charged.

Liza Marie Mertz

The COMPOL wanted Mertz to be granted bail and released.  Mertz was granted police bail and appeared before the San Pedro Magistrate Court on November twenty-seventh. She pleaded guilty to four charges, and not guilty to the charge of assaulting a uniformed police officer. And on November thirtieth, she was found guilty of assaulting a uniformed police officer and fined a total of one thousand three hundred three hundred and fifty dollars for all charges. Shortly after the case, Young received her transfer order which now takes effect on December fifteenth.

Channel 5

The head of the Tourism Police Unit in San Pedro town Corporal Sharmane Young has been booted from the resort town in what appears to be a case of stepping on the wrong toes. The San Pedro Sun is reporting that Corporal Young has been transferred to Placencia, even though she had just recently arrived in San Pedro to take up her appointment. So what was her crime? According to reports, simply doing her job. Reports are that Corporal Young arrested and charged a vacationing US national on November 24, which apparently did not sit well with a local politician, who according to the San Pedro Sun even went to the police station to inquire about the arrested American woman. The area representative, the newspaper reports, was briefed by the San Pedro police and that he appeared to not be happy about the situation. On the instruction of the Commissioner of Police, the woman was granted bail and released from police custody. When the woman appeared in the San Pedro Magistrate's Court, she plead guilty to four of five charges levied against her.She was fined and ordered to pay forthwith. Not long after, Corporal Young was transferred to Placencia and should take up her new appointment by the middle of the month.

Patrick Jones

Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452779
12/05/12 09:08 AM
12/05/12 09:08 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,874
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye...
Amanda Syme Offline

Amanda Syme  Offline
San Pedro lost a good, diligent, knowledgeable and experienced officer.

Yes we are a tourist town, but it is reasonable to expect our guests to obey our laws and be respectful and act decently in public.

We have such a small comtingent of police officers, and we whittle down the numbers to those who are happy to be here to serve the community we are woefully lacking.

And now we have lost a little treasure.

Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452786
12/05/12 09:48 AM
12/05/12 09:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
South Ambergris Caye
JZB Offline
JZB  Offline
Agreed. This story turns my stomach. If we get rid of the Police Officers who actually do their job, what is left? And then people complain about crime and Officers who aren't doing their job. The Minister had no right to stick his nose where it didn't belong in this case.

Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452821
12/05/12 02:29 PM
12/05/12 02:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,757
San Pedro Belize
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
I'm upset about this also. Ms Young does a great job and Tourist are not above the law.
We have Tourist driving drunk, 12 years olds driving on the streets and just plain druged, drunk and disorderly tourist whos behavior would not be tolerated in their own country.
Heradia is setting a very bad precedents excusing Mertz and transferring Corporal Young. Public acceptance of the Ministers behavior is also poor. Punishing the police for enforcing the law isn't the direction we need to be going! Corporal Young is still here on the island and it isn't too late to reverse this bad decision.

White Sands Dive Shops Daily Blog
Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452870
12/06/12 07:56 AM
12/06/12 07:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,148
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Tourism Minister Says Why He Wanted Island Cop Removed

Tourism Minister, Manuel Juniour Herredia made headlines in yesterday's Amandala - and it wasn't because tourism numbers are up.

Herredia is accused of forcing out the head of the island's tourism police unit after she arrested a tourist who has a lot of clout.

Woman Corporal Sharmane Young, who's been a police officer for 15 years, told the Amandala today that she was angry, because she felt she was punished for doing her job.

She arrested 43 year old Lisa Marie Merz, and charged her with with using indecent words, using insulting words, boisterous behavior, assaulting a uniformed police officer and resisting lawful police arrest.

Area representative and tourism minister Manuel Juniour Herredia got involved - and went to check on the tourist at the police.

He told us today what happened after that:

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"This one had to do with a tourist that had been coming to this island for 15 years, bringing groups of scuba divers at Amigos Del Mar. And I was called by an employee of Amigos Del Mar, who told me that this person had been locked up, and was in police custody, and that they wouldn't release her until so many days. So, I went immediately to the station, and the officer that was in charge over said that Cpl. Young is not in office, and she will probably not be in until later in the night, or the next day because she was out at Fido's doing a security job. But, I managed to speak with the officer in charge of San Pedro Command, Ms. Robinson, and I asked Ms. Robinson about the situation with this tourist. Ms. Robinson said, 'I heard from Cpl. Young that the tourist was behaving not in a very polite manner. I spoke to the tourist who said, 'Minister, thanks for visiting me firstly, because I don't think any other minister would have done that.' But I believe that I have a job to do, like I mentioned in the beginning, making sure to see that everybody feels welcomed. I am people-friend with everybody, locals or tourists, and I went over there. Immediately, the lady responded, 'I accept that I was a little upset, but that was because Cpl. Young was using excessive force with me. She wanted to take me. I have surgery on both arms, and my hands cannot bend behind.' And she showed me. She did show me, indeed. And she said, 'And the reason I started to use insulting words is because I couldn't stand the pain that was being done to my arm.' Nonetheless, I told her that what I would try to do is I will speak to Ms. Robinson, ask her if she can grant bail. But, Ms. Robinson was very open to say, 'Minister, I will not wake up my officer to grant bail to this tourist.' I called Aragon, who is in charge at Eastern Division. Aragon immediately called Mrs. Robinson. He said, 'Charge the lady if you will charge her, and then grant her bail.' According to Ms. Young, I wanted the lady released without any charges. That has never been my intention. I have never ever - Inspector Arnold can tell you; she was there for 5 years or more. Whenever I go to the situation over there, what is the situation of the case? What can be done? And I will immediately inform either the parents or the families as to what the situation is, and that's it-"

Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News
"Minister, it is alleged that as a result of your intervention, this officer was transferred from the island."

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.
"And I will be - I will - no apologies, right. That indeed for a few months before that, I had asked Mr. Aragon - I think - the Commissioner, if they transfer this officer elsewhere because she was not performing in the best possible manner that is supposed to - when she arrived on the island, she was the best of the best, I believed, that we have had at a person in charge of the Tourism Police. But after that, I personally saw that she was not performing to the best."

The San Pedro Sun quotes a witness who says that Merz's behavior was uninvited and unprovoked..and was disrespectful even after she was given the option to leave the area."

Merz pleaded guilty to four of the charges, but not guilty to the charge of "assaulting a uniformed police officer."

The total fines are as follows: assaulting a uniformed police officer, $800; use of indecent words, $100; use of insulting words, $100; boisterous behavior, $50, and resisting arrest, $300, to a total of $1,350, which Merz was ordered to pay forthwith.

Herredia told us today that this nurse from New York state is not any average tourist:

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.
"A tourist of this magnitude that brings every two weeks - or sometimes weekly - groups of scuba divers to the country, and for her to tell me that she will not be coming any more to this country, and will be telling her friends not to come to Belize, when, Jules, we have been fighting for this industry. Ever since the recession was there, we have been working so hard, day and night, to make sure that we upgrade this industry. And today, the numbers can speak for themselves. We have the best numbers ever in this country, in tourist arrivals. And for something small to come around and destroy it, I am not into that."

The San Pedro Sun reports that Corporal Young, was given an immediate transfer to Placencia. No replacement has been made.

Channel 7

Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452891
12/06/12 09:23 AM
12/06/12 09:23 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Belize City
Katie Valk Offline

Katie Valk  Offline
So if I am above average and bring lots of biz to Belize, I can get a Get Out of Jail card too?

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]
Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452892
12/06/12 09:56 AM
12/06/12 09:56 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,757
San Pedro Belize
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Heredia has made himself a judge and jury plus written some new laws and can tell the police how to run their business, we sure got our moneys worth when we elected him!

White Sands Dive Shops Daily Blog
Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452929
12/06/12 10:35 PM
12/06/12 10:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,436
Caye Caulker
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
I cant believe what I just read. To drop charges because this woman brings in revenue. How bad can things be here? Its Mc Afee all over again, only this lady got off, and she was proven guilty. Respect to the female officer for doing her job. Again I hate it when I see tourist or anyone, forgetting that if you now have residency, or citizenship or bring in alot of money to Belize we are still guest. We are moving into a country that is not ours. This woman seems to bring in groups so she is making money on it, she is not here for love of the country and looks like she has an attitude. Again so sad.....

Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452981
12/07/12 09:03 AM
12/07/12 09:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,148
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Backlash after Minister’s admission in overruling police officer

Minister of Tourism and area representative for Belize Rural South Manuel Heredia, Junior, confirmed to reporters that he requested a transfer of the head of Tourism Police Unit in San Pedro town, Corporal Sharmane Young. Minister Heredia made no apologies for been responsible for the removal of Police Corporal Young.

Minister Heredia has since come under fire. He is been accused of forcing out the Head of San Pedro Tourism Police Unit after she arrested a popular tourist. But according to Minister Heredia, the transfer was subsequent to a request made months ago and not the result of the Corporal Young's decision to arrest and charge an unruly tourist. In an interview with the media Cpl. Young expressed her anger stating that she felt she was being punished for doing her job. Corporal Young arrested 43 year old Lisa Marie Merz, and charged her with using indecent words, using insulting words, boisterous behaviour, assaulting a uniformed police officer and resisting lawful police arrest. It was reported that Merz while was in prison received a visit from the Minister who requested that Merz get bail. Minister Heredia explains what happened.

Indications are that Corporal Young had in fact acted in proper fashion yet she has been removed from her station in San Pedro – and the Minister did not shy away from the fact that he had a lot to DO with that – he said he makes no apologies.

The matter was also widely discussed on Rise and Shine this morning where the actions of the Minister and Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Jr. were highly criticized. Here's what viewers had to say.

According to The San Pedro Sun an eye witness said that Merz's behaviour was uninvited and unprovoked and was disrespectful even after she was given the option to leave the area." Merz pleaded guilty to four of the charges, but not guilty to the charge of "assaulting a uniformed police officer." The total fines amounted to $1,350, which Merz was ordered to pay forthwith. Corporal Sharmane Young a career police officer serving in the department for the last15 years has been transferred to Placencia.


Re: WHO “RUN TINGS” IN SAN PEDRO? [Re: Marty] #452993
12/07/12 10:40 AM
12/07/12 10:40 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,094
Danny2 Offline
Danny2  Offline
" Its Mc Afee all over again". Free McAfee and find out who poisoned his dogs and Faull's killer will be reveled.

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