American tourist fined for injuring hotel guest
An American tourist, who cut another man on the hand while at a hotel, was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000, or spend 20 days in jail, when he appeared before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Forty-three-year-old Salvador Medina, who is from Texas in the United States, had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of unlawful wounding, committed against Kurt Alley when he came to court on Monday; however, he entered a guilty plea on Tuesday, following discussions with his lawyer, and was subsequently fined.
The facts are that on June 14, Medina and Alley, who were guests at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, were waiting in line to get food. Medina reportedly attempted to engage in conversation with Alley, but the complainant ignored him.
Medina then held on to Alley and attempted to pull him to one side, but Alley pulled away from the defendant and began to walk off. Medina, who had a knife in his hand at the time, held Alley from behind, and Alley sustained a cut on his hand moments later.
In court on Tuesday, Medina's attorney, Dalton Reid, told presiding magistrate Wilson Smith that his client was drunk at the time of the incident and asked that Medina be shown leniency.
"He (Medina) had a knife in his hand that he was using to cut his hamburger, and he was under his 'spirits'. His girlfriend took him here to destress him, and in that destressing, he took in a lot of our Jamaican rum," said Reid.
"I would ask your honour to be as lenient as possible with him. It is the first time he has been in jail, and he is resolving not to take in any of these 'spirits' any time soon," the lawyer added.
In handing down Medina's sentence, Smith warned the defendant that he must be on his best behaviour.
"I can send you to prison for three years. I am not going to do that now, but I want you to be aware," Smith told Medina. "I have to send a signal so that it will be known that the court does not stand for bad behaviour," the magistrate added.