St Ann's Puddin' Man cries foul
Famed for his delicious sweet potato and cornmeal puddings, which is baked by the roadside in Priory, St Ann, the proprietor of Just Coool, Edgar Wallace, is claiming that the police are unfairly targeting him.
The police claim that vehicles parked at the store cause a traffic pile-up.
"We are concerned that the area is causing congestion, not the Puddin' Man. So, we did our assessment and we realised [that] we need to ensure that the area is kept clear. All we are doing is clearing traffic because we are concerned with traffic congestion. We have absolutely nothing to do with his business," senior superintendent of police in charge of St Ann, Michael Smith, said.
However, Wallace, also called Puddin' Man, has dismissed the claims.
"I've been in business for over 13 years, and all the years we've been here, we never had no problem whatsoever. All of a sudden, this year, we're like the biggest problem in the neighbourhood. The police constantly keep harassing us. They come and they stand at my store and my store only," Wallace told THE STAR.
"They say that I am the one that's blocking up the traffic, but on Saturdays when I close, if you drive through Priory, from the roundabout coming to Priory, the place is all jammed up and yet I am locked up."
He continued: "If I can't sell, then the whole of Priory should be locked down. Vehicle not supposed to stop at nobody business [place] because this is prejudice. This is total prejudice. Why is only the Rastaman they want to take set on? Why? That's the question I want them to answer! Why is only Rasta? Is because I'm a Rastaman why they just decide to come and take set on me?"
Wallace also claimed that he is losing money because of the actions of the police. He said he has been supporting the community over the years, and he would like what he considers the unfair targeting to stop.
But the cops rubbished Wallace's claims.
"We have absolutely nothing to do with the Puddin' Man or his business," Smith told THE STAR on Thursday. He insisted that the actions are in line with police's efforts to rid the parish of traffic congestion.
THE STAR also observed that Wallace's shop is located in a no-parking zone, and a no-parking sign is also close by.
Wallace, meanwhile, said the traffic situation could be remedied by doing several things. He believes that one solution would be to reset the traffic signals to allow vehicles along the North Coast Highway more time to go through the traffic lights before they change. He also said that another possible solution would be to turn the roadway to Seville Heights into a one-way with traffic exiting at the traffic light, along the main road, leading to Bamboo.