Caines under fire over driving incident
The Minister of National Security came under fire yesterday after a video showed him driving his government car while a motorcyclist held on to it.
Wayne Caines defended his actions and posted online that he had tried to stop the rider who talked to him through his car window.
The footage showed Mr Caines's official GP plate car driving through Hamilton, including Victoria Street, with the bike beside the car. The bike rider leant into the driver's window several times while appearing to hold on to the door.
The video, taken from a car behind Mr Caines, lasts two minutes 25 seconds and was shared on Facebook.
Marvin Woolridge, nicknamed “Manga Duke”, posted that he was the rider of the bike.
He wrote that Mr Caines told him not to ride next to him and talk to him because it was illegal.
He also told commenters critical of Mr Caines to “stop trying to make a good man look bad”.
Mr Woolridge apologised to Mr Caines for putting him “on blast” and said they talked about how to stop gun violence.
Mr Caines wrote on Facebook: “Today I was driving on Parliament Street, a man rode up to me and started to chat.
“The man had a significant concern and wanted my guidance. I pulled over on Victoria Street and had a chat with him.
“I informed the rider I was late for a meeting and asked him to come by my office later. I also asked him to call or e-mail me.” Mr Caines said he drove on but the rider continued to ride beside him.
He added: “I asked him to stop riding and chatting into my window as it was dangerous and illegal. The rider continued to talk.
“At one point he held on to the car passionately sharing his story.”
Mr Caines said he again asked him to stop by his office and added that the man agreed.
A man's voice can be heard on the video.
He said: “The whole stretch from stop light to this stop light, this guy has been right there, where he is, behind this government vehicle.
“That is what you call a serious conversation. I think that's pretty disgusting.
“I don't know who is driving GP7 but you should be ashamed of yourself.”
At the Victoria Street junction with Cedar Avenue, the rider continued to speak to the driver and drove off at the same time, still alongside the car.
Both vehicles turned right on to Washington Street and the video ended after they turned left on to Dundonald Street.
Mr Caines told The Royal Gazette: “I have discussed this matter with the Acting Commissioner of Police this morning. All of the information is in the hands of the Acting Commissioner.”
Martin Weekes, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the Bermuda Police Service was “looking into this as we would look into any offence when we get videos sent to us”.
He added: “Once we have got an opinion from the DPP as to whether an offence has been committed then we will follow through with an investigation.
“We encourage any member of the public with information who can assist us in those inquiries to come forward.”
Mr Weekes said the BPS would also try to identify the bike rider.
He added: “We will want to see if Mr Caines wants to make an official complaint which would help us along if he makes an official statement.”
Michael Dunkley, a former premier and national security minister, also shared the post on his Facebook page.
Mr Dunkley told The Royal Gazette: “The minister and the gentleman riding the bike have provided an explanation; I am sure this is appreciated by everyone.
“However, our road habits often leave a lot to be desired and we must all be our brother's keeper.
“This is another unfortunate example how all of us, even the best intentioned, including myself, must change our mindset.
“This can be a valuable lesson — one in which no one, thankfully, was hurt — as we Drive for Change.”
A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said: “We will look at the evidence, with input from the Department of Public Prosecutions, to determine whether any offences are disclosed.”
Police have appealed for witnesses.