Wolfe’s Woofer: Theif
Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
“I’m glad you took up my invitation to visit me,” Ricardo said. “It’s good to see old friends from Ambergris Caye.”
“I couldn’t miss the opportunity,” I told him. “You’ve come a long way since we met.”
I met Ricardo twenty-five years when he was a constable in the Belize police force. After rising through the police ranks he had been appointed as a judge.
“I’m sitting at court this afternoon,” he said. “I like to go meet the people I’ll be passing judgment on so I go down to the jail. You can come with me.”
A police sergeant accompanied us into the big holding cell at the jail. As soon as the prisoners recognized Ricardo they all wanted his attention.
One man said, “Judge, they put me in here for selling crack but I didn’t do it.”
“Judge, please listen to me,” another man said. “The police put me in jail saying I used a machete to rob a store. I’m not guilty because it was just a big knife, not a machete.”
“The police said I beat my wife but I’m not guilty,” one said. “I just hit her with a stick because she needed it.”
“I didn’t steal a truck,” said one man. “I don’t even have a driver’s license.”
One by one they told the story of being accused of crimes that they didn’t do.
“How about you,” Ricardo asked a little man sitting in the corner. “What’s your story?”
“I been out of work a long time,” the man said. “I try to find work but there ain’t none. I got four kids and they was hungry so I stole some bread and canned ham to give them.”
“You say you stole it?”
“I did, Judge. My family was starving.”
“You, sir, are an admitted thief,” Ricardo said. “You don’t deserve to be in a jail full of honest men like these. Sergeant, send him home.”
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