Barbados Today:- Management of Sandals Barbados Resort has apologised to Cultural Ambassador The Most Honourable Anthony Gabby Carter for a dispute in which the distinguished singer-songwriter was allegedly assaulted by a security guard.
The incident occurred on Saturday when Carter was with human rights lawyer Lalu Hanuman and two other social activists examining various sections of the Dover Beach area, where public beach access has been reportedly restricted.
During the tour, the team stumbled on five signs erected by the luxury resort prohibiting non-guests from venturing within metres of the beach in front of the south coast property.
It was then that Gabby, carrying a sign which read ‘This beach is mine’, was instructed to move from the spot which, according to him, is a public beach. He refused, noting that two years prior, he was informed by management that the ‘illegal’ signs would be removed.
“So, I began to speak with the tourists. I said ‘good morning’ to them, ‘my name is Anthony Carter. My title is Dr The Most Honorable Anthony Carter, Cultural Ambassador of Barbados. I am a premier artiste in Barbados.’ They listened to me quite clearly, they knew why I was there on the beach and that I had the right to stand where I was,” Carter told Barbados TODAY.
“[The guard] got annoyed and decided that I needed to go back behind the sign. I said ‘I told you already I had a meeting with management and they agreed to move the sign. The sign has not been removed and there are five signs that are too close to the water’.
“The man let me know that that is not his business, he is a guard, and it is his duty to make sure that I am behind the sign. I told him this was wrong and he said, ‘well, if you don’t move, I will move you’. I said ‘well, I am not moving’ and it was at that point that he came and shoved me,” Carter disclosed.
His account was corroborated by Hanuman who described it as “a criminal act”.
“We were physically shoved. They put their arms out and pushed us, physically. They were very burly guys, they had a lot of weight behind them. So it was clearly an assault which is a criminal offence,” the attorney told this newspaper.
Neither has expressed any serious intention to pursue the matter with the police.
However, Gabby revealed that through Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins, contact was made with Chairman and CEO of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart who offered an apology.
The cultural icon revealed that the management of Amalgamated Security Services Limited, which provides security on behalf of the resort, promised to review security footage and interview the guard. They will then determine whether a public apology is warranted.
He revealed that when he met with Sandals two years ago, management indicated that the signs were placed close to the water’s edge to deter “drug pushers” from doing business with the visitors.
“This was never meant to be a situation with any hatred or animosity or anything like that. It’s just a misunderstanding with the guard and his manhandling me, which was incorrect,” said Gabby.
“We have a long-time relationship. I worked with Sandals on many occasions. There’s no personal vendetta where Sandals is concerned, just an understanding that the sign was supposed to move,” he added.