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."
"You insulted Mr. Butler."
"Yes, I did. I did insult him."
"So, you pleaded guilty, and got a fine."
"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:
"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."
"Is Mr. Butler in charge of enforcement for the Council?"
"Yes, sir, he is the councilor in charge."
"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?"
"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."
"So, what's happening with your business right now."
"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.