Some people don't like samba?

From the UK, a story a few years old but worth a look...

The Times

July 22, 2005

Widow of 80 locked up in row with PC drummer
By Simon de Bruxelles

A WIDOW aged 80 found herself being fingerprinted and locked in a police cell after complaining about the noise of drumming coming from a community centre.

Gwen Townsend was arrested after snatching a stick from one of the samba drummer’s hands and allegedly hitting him with it when he ignored her pleas to keep the volume down.

Mrs Townsend was unaware that the drummer was an off-duty police officer. PC Adam Hall called for reinforcements to arrest the pensioner for causing actual bodily harm.

Mrs Townsend, who suffers from a heart condition, was held in a cell for two hours and had her fingerprints, photograph and a DNA swab taken. She was later driven home in a police car and is waiting to see if the police press charges before lodging a formal complaint.

The retired accountant from Devizes, Wiltshire, had put up with the noise from the community centre for two hours before storming across to ask the drummers to keep the noise down. Inside she found the Devizes Bang Band hammering giant samba drums.

Mrs Townsend claims that she snatched one of the drummer’s sticks and banged it down on his drum when he took no notice of her.

She added: “People were offering me cups of tea to calm me down but I wasn’t in a mood to be calmed. The noise was horrendous and no-one was listening to my complaints.

“The man I was supposed to have hit said he would have to call the police. I said ‘good’ because I wanted them to see how many cars there were parked illegally there.”

After the altercation with PC Hall, who called for a squad car, Mrs Townsend was arrested and taken to Melksham police station, where she was locked in a cell.

She said: “They stuck me in this smelly cell for two hours. I am 80 years old and I have a heart condition and no effort was made to contact a doctor. They treated me as though I was an 18-year-old thug.”

She was released on police bail and ordered to return to the police station in August.

A police spokesman denied the force had been heavy handed. He said: “We confirm that an elderly woman had been arrested after an allegation that a man had been struck across the face over three times with a drumstick, causing reddening and bruising. Police have to be even handed when investigating all allegations of assault, irrespective of age or gender.”

Stuart Hislop, who helped to organise the drumming event, said that there were no other complaints.

No comments: