Yhony Rosado, owner of Cavetubing.com and FECTAB member was a rising national figure when in December of 2012, a firearm charge sent his reputation and his business into distress. Rosado was accused of pulling a gun on the owner of another cave tubing company Vitalino Reyes Jr. – the two are said to be longtime rivals. The confrontation, Police say, took place at Reyes’ property in Frank’s Eddy Village, following a disagreement between the two earlier that day. The case proceeded in court Friday for hearing on a no case submission filed by Mr. Rosado’s attorney, Kareem Musa. We spoke with Yhony Rosado right before he stepped into court, where he told us about the adverse effects this very serious allegation has had on his business.
Yhony Rosado – Owner of Cavetubing.com:
“It has been very frustrated, you know…as a human being, I want justice and I want to leave comfortable; that’s what it is. But from the very first time I was aware of the firearm offence which I didn’t commit, it have been a troubling time, a challenging time, it’s very frustrating to know that you have a business or employing someone…by now, if I was employed with someone, probably I’d loose my job, my house and my stuffs, loose of my building. But because of my business, I have managed to get around to get around… do everything. Men , this was when Yhony Rosado pulled up a firearm on a competitor, it was crazy, you know, a lot of cancellation, my business went down from 90% to maybe 40%, but, you know, when you do the right thing, God is with you, and we have a saying in Belize brought from Jamaica, “the jobless you won’t curse.”
Kareem Musa requested that the case be thrown out on the basis that the witnesses testimonies were dubious – one witness it was learned was not even at the location where the incident reportedly took place, while another first claimed that it happened near the complainant’s residence, but then changed his story, saying that it was at the complainant’s home. Well those inconsistencies were enough for the Magistrate to dismiss the charge of aggravated assault with a firearm against the defendant. Mr Musa commented on the judgment.
Kareem Musa – Attorney for Yhony Rosado
“The trial took about 6 adjournments over the last 4 weeks. We’ve been back and forth coming here to Belmopan for Mr. Yhony to answer to this very fabricated charge that was laid against him by two Vitalino Reyes Jr. and Vitalino Reyes Sr. The evidence as born out by the prosecution’s case was horrific. When I tell you there were 5 completely inconsistent statements given by the persecution witnesses. What it demonstrated to me was that these 5 individuals , who by chance are all related, came to the police station and gave statements to the police. They did not corroborate their stories before coming to the police. What they did was give varying accounts of what actually took place and in the end that was born out in the case. You had five very different stories, and it was clear to be seen that in face Mr. Yhony Rosado did not pull any firearm on anybody on that day. So the Magistrate, I believe, did the right thing today, and dismissed this case on the basis of a no case submission that was made on Monday”.
We again spoke with a relieved Mr Rosado following the verdict.
“At the end of the day, I knew I did not do it, and it have come a long way and I came out victorious and can always tell the people that trust in me, or doing business with me, my employees, my neighbours, my family…and this is the face you put when you’re victorious. Thank you for the patience, thank you for everything. My looks, my ponytail, my hair, my chest is too big, it just look at …it appears that I will do something like that, you know…so my looks kind of help the report, but it was just a blatant lie”.
But Yhony Rosado wasn’t fighting this battle alone, he had the backing of his employees and FECTAB and COLA colleagues. They were present on Friday to support Rosado.
Geovanni Brackett-President of COLA Organization
“First of all, they say a friend in need is a friend indeed and he’s been my personal friend since I’ve been in primary school, I know his character, I can testify to that and we’ve been there as COLA to support him both emotional and to be there to publicize the issue as well, So, we have to be there on every step of the way-we’ve seen the times that he has broken down and to be there for him and to give that support”.
Meanwhile, Mr Rosado’s attorney expressed his discontent with what he referred to as a sort of hiccup in the justice system, one that he claims was reflected in this case.
Kareem Musa: Attorney for Yhony Rosado
“Our criminal justice system is based on the principle that you are presumed innocent until you are proven guilty. This law that has been put into pace, it goes it flies directly in the face of that principle because what you have now is that people can go to the police, make a statement…a false statement at that and get someone arrested and not only arrested but they don’t get bail. So, they are sent automatically to prison; so, it stands against what that principle stands for. In fact you are not even taken before a judge. So, when you make a statement to the police, the police are deciding your fate and saying you are going to jail, and that is completely unacceptable in our justice system…completely. I think that law needs to be challenged and need to be challenged soon. This is perfect case to show you what can go terribly wrong when people try to manipulate the justice system in their favour, and thankfully, Mr. Rosado only spent one night in prison, but there are people out there spending two weeks, a month,…three months in some instances, and there are false accusations just because people are bad-minded and want to see people go to jail. So, this case, I believe, is the platform upon which we need to challenge that law”.