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January 30, 2013
Star News


Jazz Fest patron arrested after pulling gun on promoter

Police are looking into an incident in which a patron attending the Jazz and Blues Festival on Sunday morning managed to get his firearm into the venue. He reportedly pulled the weapon on security guards after he was ejected from an exclusive enclosed area of the venue near the stage, after he slapped a fellow patron in the face.

The firearm is in the custody of a senior police officer, who was handed the gun after the commotion had died down. Karl Angell of the Constabulary Communication Network confirmed to THE STAR last night that Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkis has his men looking into the matter that potentially threatened the safety of patrons attending the festival at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Falmouth. "We will look to see if there was any established deviation from the established procedure, and we will take it up with the people involved," ACP Watkis told THE STAR last night.

Firearm holders attending the Jazz and Blues Festival are required to check their weapons at a police post before entering the venue.

Eyewitnesses told THE STAR that the incident involved two businessmen identified as Chestscott Browne and Ian Wong. They say Browne was at the venue shortly after midnight and entered the exclusive area that was set up by Wong, the popular promoter of the Frenchmen series of parties. Browne and his entourage somehow made their way into the exclusive area that was populated by patrons who bought very expensive tickets to have access to VIP service. Wong reportedly objected to his presence there and both men got into an argument.

As the situation escalated, Browne slapped Wong in the face at which point Wong's sons retaliated in defence of their father, witnesses told THE STAR. Before the situation could escalate further, a security guard managed to restrain Browne and escorted him from the area.

Once outside, Browne began to insist that he be allowed back in but the guard refused. There was a huge commotion, THE STAR understands, in full view of many people including a former Government minister and former Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields, who assisted in keeping Browne outside by standing between him and the entrance to the exclusive area.

Browne, witnesses said, became even more incensed when he was denied entry and he pulled his licensed firearm. However, as quickly as he pulled his weapon, he was disarmed by a security guard. He failed to retrieve it despite repeated attempts to do so and the weapon was eventually handed over to a senior officer at the scene.

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