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Thomson says sorry for kite confrontation

A public confrontation over noisy “hummer” kites that blew up on a social media led to apologies last night and a call for mutual respect.

A video posted on Facebook yesterday showed a dispute between an area resident and a group of men flying traditional Bermuda kites.

The footage showed businessman Steve Thomson, with former wife Norma, in an argument on Monday at Astwood Park in Warwick with a group including Duvon Powell, a well-known DJ and founder of the group Kite Warriors.

The four-minute clip, which sparked a torrent of social-media comments after more than 5,000 views, closed with the intervention of two police officers.

Online apologies were made yesterday by Mr Thomson's sons — Kenny, who runs Mailboxes Unlimited, and Nick, the owner of Scooter Mart in Paget.

Mr Thomson is the chairman of Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd, parent company of The Royal Gazette.

He said last night he had been “frustrated and emotional after hearing the whining of kites over my house for many days”.

But Mr Thomson admitted: “I could have handled it differently.”

He said: “Using profanity was wrong. And I was certainly wrong about Duvon Powell. Nick, my son, bought a kite from Mr Powell. He is a nice fellow and I wrote to him today and said I was sorry. It was my mistake. But there was a group of other people there that come all the time and do this.

“The kites are flying over our houses and it's been going on for three years.”

Mr Thomson, who lives near the park, said the hummer kites had sparked “multiple calls” from neighbours to police.

He added the noise had also sparked a petition from residents to Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley.

Mr Thomson said he “loved” the Easter tradition of kite flying, but that the “constant” humming of kites in the area had worn his nerves.

He added: “Many of the neighbours have confronted kite flyers in that area and asked and pleaded for them not to fly these loud kites throughout the day and night. We find it simply unfair and disrespectful.”

Mr Thomson said he hoped “what comes out of this is a little more respect from the community for each other”.

He asked: “We live cheek by jowl to one another — why would you want to fly something that irritates your neighbours?

“I'm speaking for all the silent people that aren't speaking.”

Police responded to similar complaints from the park area two years ago and reminded people that it was an offence to fly a kite over a public place “to the annoyance or danger of any passenger or frequenter”.

Mr Powell declined to comment on the row last night.

Kenny Thomson sent out an e-mail yesterday, shared on social media, that highlighted his father was no longer involved in Mailboxes Unlimited.

He added: “My father and mother must have reached their breaking point of annoyance.”

He highlighted the group in the park were members of a club bringing down their kites in time for the curfew imposed because of the Covid-19 crisis.

He said: “My parents acted poorly and they absolutely deserve the public retribution they're receiving.”

Nick Thomson posted on Facebook that he still had Mr Powell's kite on display.

He said: “Duvon is a true craftsman of Bermudian culture. I'm so sorry for how disrespectful my parents were.”

Apology issued: Steve Thomson, right, with son Nick Thomson, and a traditional Bermudian kite created by Duvon Powell last year. Steve Thompson and Mr Powell had a confrontation on Monday over loud “hummer” kites at Astwood Park, Warwick, for which he has apologised (Photograph supplied)

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Published April 01, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 01, 2020 at 6:42 pm)

Thomson says sorry for kite confrontation

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