Homeless men assaulted by teens accept apology
Anthony Gaye and Joseph Lewis
The men who were assaulted by two teens in a video posted to social media have accepted the apology and hopes the actions would not be repeated in the future.
The two homeless men, Anthony Gaye and Joseph Lewis, were present at the Barbados Alliance to End Homeless (BAEH) headquarters on Monday to receive the public apology from the two 13-year-old boys who slapped the men in the head as part of a prank.
Lewis was captured on camera being slapped to the back of his head while Gaye was one of the victims whose assault was not caught on camera.
"I am here to apologize to the nation for my inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour that has circulated on social media. At first, it was just a joke to me and my friend and I sincerely apologise for our actions and I hope you can accept my humble apology," said Whitehall to Gaye.
Gaye described the duo's actions as "very lawless".
"They should have known much better and they should be doing something worthwhile helping their grandparents and their family do something in the house. The children were on vacation because of the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and it should be worthwhile to do something home."
Whitehall's grandmother Anastacia St Pierre said she was shocked and disappointed by her grandson's behaviour. St Pierre said she gave Whitehall a stern warning and urged him to apologise.
"I don't stand for nonsense. I didn't raise him like that. I told him that is not good, you have to apologise to the people and apologise to the nation that is not right because he wouldn't feel good if anybody did it to me so I not allowing him to do that," she said, further adding "He got know there are consequences for his actions so how he make his bed he got to lay down in it".
St Pierre started to cry as she spoke about the difficulties of raising her grandson who was abused by his alcoholic mother and the challenges she faced being his only parent. She expressed she was supportive and happy that her grandson will receive counselling.
"I love my grandson and I know he is not that type of person. It is just circumstances that cause these things to happen but I feel nobody doesn't care because I am only his grandmother, I can't take his mother place," she added.
Meanwhile, Layne apologised and promised that he would "do better" going forward. His mother, Renee Wickham was apologetic to the victims and remarked she felt "bad" about the incident.
Chief Executive Officer of Supreme Counseling, Shawn Clarke voiced that more youth should seek counselling for behavioural and personal development. Broaching on the prevalence of bullying, Clarke called for intervention and argued that a "systematic approach to bullying in schools" should be implemented.
"Over the past weeks, we would have seen many episodes of Barbados that speak very highly to bullying. This episode was also one type of bullying because there was an imbalance of power and strength. We would have seen another case with the young man who made a blunder- cyberbullying [and] we would have seen another case of physical bullying so we need to address these situations. We need to bring these young people into counseling. We need to work with these young people," he remarked.