A female lawyer has accused one of her male colleagues of assaulting her during a brawl at a rum shop on Saturday that initially involved the female lawyer’s husband and her alleged assailant.
Police said on Tuesday that they are investigating “the circumstances which led to the assault” of Ronnia Durham-Balcombe, 31, a lawyer of Prospect.
“According to reports, Ronnia Durham-Balcombe was assaulted by Ronald “Ronnie” Marks, [a] 48 year old lawyer of Prospect, to wit, ‘by boxing her on the right side of her face’, causing actual bodily harm,” police said in their regular crime bulletin.
“The incident reportedly occurred at Prospect on Saturday, about 4:30 p.m.
But Mr. Marks, in an interview with iWitness News on Monday, denied striking Durham-Balcombe, saying that he cannot make a fist as he has broken fingers that need at least four weeks more of therapy if he is to be able to close his hand.
Part of the brawl in which Marks and Durham-Balcombe were involved were captured in two videos and circulated via social media. (Scroll for video)
In one of the videos, Marks’ sister, Patricia Marks-Minors, also a lawyer, is heard swearing at Durham-Balcombe before the video ends suddenly, as if the recording device fell from Durham-Balcombe hands.
Durham-Balcombe told iWitness News that Marks-Minors knocked the device out of her hand and stomped on it when it fell to the ground.
Durham-Balcombe said she was at home waiting for her husband, Cameron “Dinky” Balcombe, a businessman and former politician, to return.
Earlier, she had received a call from her husband saying that Marks had drawn a gun at him and had made defamatory and threatening comments about him, Durham-Balcombe told iWitness News.
“I was more concerned that he had pulled a gun at my husband.”
Before receiving the call about the gun threat, Durham-Balcombe said she had received a call from her husband saying that he had had some vehicle problems in the Prospect area and would be delayed.
“When I got around to the location — not too far from where I am living, I observed Mr. Ronnie Marks hurling insults at my husband, basically, saying what is he doing here, how NDP [New Democratic Party] people come down and contaminate the area. This is his place and making further comments,” Durham-Balcombe said of Marks, a former senator for the ruling Unity Labour Party.
She said she got out of the vehicle and her husband was asking Marks what was going on with him and why he had pulled the gun at him.
“I got out o the vehicle and I stood in front of it. I went to my husband first and I asked him what was going on and he said this guy just came and pulled gun at him and slapped him and [and making allegation about my husband’s sexual history] at university in Soho. Making defamatory comments, basically.”
Durham-Balcombe said that the police at Calliaqua were summoned and when they arrived, they spoke to her husband and went inside the shop to speak to Marks “who had gone inside to sit at the bar after the persons in the area had dragged him inside and told him to behave himself, because he kept motioning to put his hand in his pocket to take out the gun — a gun which he had in his possession and I was there when he did that.
“And he had also attempted to slap my husband but I had grabbed his hand and had told him no, that was not going to happen here because my husband wasn’t even studying him. He was speaking to other people, as a crowd had started to gather and he was distracted.”
She said one of the officers went into the shop and brought Marks outside to speak to him, away from the noise and the crowd.
“As soon as Mr. Marks exited the doors, he again started to attack my husband verbally, telling him — all the statements I mentioned earlier, he repeated them in the presence of the police.”
Durham-Balcombe said the police asked Marks why he had pulled his gun at Balcombe.
“Mr. Marks’ response was my husband approached him with his hand in the air. So the officer asked him if he approached with his hands up in the air why did he pull the gun.
“Mr. Marks became very irate and he began to say a police officer like you who can’t get promotion unless I say so wants to give me licks for Mr. Balcombe,” Durham-Balcombe said.
In one of the videos, Marks is heard telling the police office that the officer cannot get a promotion unless Marks says so.
She said Marks got confrontational and people restrained him
Durham-Balcombe said that a few minutes later, Marks’ sister, Marks-Minor arrived.
“And I overheard her telling him, don’t bother with these people, they are nobody, they are nothing, they are nobody. And then Mr. Marks repeated out loud, ‘Yes, they are nobody.’ And then he looked in my direction and said, ‘You stinking mother****.”
She said she then asked Marks if he was speaking to her and he said yes, and asked them what they were doing in Prospect and they don’t belong there.
“He said, you NDP people come down here and contaminate the area. That is what he was saying. And I am not making any political vibe about it. But that is exactly what was said.”
Marks, however, has told iWitness News that while he and Balcombe said unpleasant things to each other, he never made any comments about people’s political persuasion.
Durham-Balcombe said that Marks confirmed that he was, in fact, swearing at her.
She said she then decided to use her cell phone to record what was happening.
“Because I am a barrister in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I would not stand for this slanderous, disrespectful conduct from a fellow member of the Bar. And much more, because the police could not get him under control, I said this deserves recording and he kept advancing to my husband. I then got my phone and I started a recording.”
She said that the recording ended when Marks-Minors knocked the phone out of her hand and swore at her.
“She hit me on my hand and knocked the phone clear out of my hand and then stomped on my phone. So when I bent down and tried to get my phone, she then grabbed me by my neck. So I got into a position where I had to defend myself.
“So I got up and both of us got into a short tussle, because, by then, Ronnie Marks ran in on me and whatever crowd and her (Marks-Minors) husband (Chad Minors) ran in and, at the same time, my husband was trying to come to my defence. But, he did not get there in time…
“While Patricia and I had our short tussle, where I was trying to defend myself, Mr. Marks then came in and he was, again, going towards my husband, because husband was coming in to try and defend me and Mr. Marks was coming in too.
“When he realised that the crowd was holding back my husband and my husband couldn’t get at me, Mr. Marks then looked at me, bit his lip and clenched his fist and hit me one box on the right side of my face…
“I know for a fact because I saw him with my own eyes before his fist connected with my face that Ronnie Marks hit me there.”
Durham-Balcombe told iWitness News that the police who were present when the alleged assault occurred told her to go to the Calliaqua Police Station to lodge a report.
She said she went immediately, made a report and got my medical injury report form and returned it to the station, “because I am taking this matter quite seriously”.
Meanwhile, Marks told iWitness News on Monday that he had pulled his gun at Mr. Balcombe after Balcombe and other man rushed him inside the shop.
He, however, denied assaulting Durham-Balcombe.
“I have a broken finger. My finger can’t even close in. I have to do about four more weeks of therapy before my finger can squeeze in.”
Marks said that on the contrary, Durham-Balcombe assaulted his sister.
“… she went and grabbed on to my sister’s hair.”
He suggested that the videos being circulated are not the entire video that Durham-Balcombe recorded.
“Pat walked off. She grabbed Pat from behind on her hair. All I did just rolled in and put myself between the two of them and separated them. The police were there and the police came and they did their work,” Marks said.
He said he was assaulted during the fracas and has told the police this and was scheduled to lodge a formal report on Tuesday.
Marks-Minors is yet to respond to a telephone call to the chambers she and Marks share, denying herself an opportunity to comment ahead of a story being published.
Ronnie Marks pulled a similar stunt in New York and got arrested because up here he is a nobody. Only in SVG!!!
All a dem every one a dem are low life pretending to be high life.
What a country. What a society. What a ‘profession’. Good thing I didn’t advance my legal studies any further, Mr. Francis, the avowed next PM of SVG. And, I started as early as Second Form — being the eyes of Mr. Hubert Da Silva, visually-challenged former Magistrate’s Clerk as he operated his Paralegal services.
Quo Vadis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Whither goest thou, Hirouna?!!
God, come tek yuh country.
Kindly save us from what Sir Milts would call these “creatures”!
I hang my head in SHAME.
I CRY for SVG, my most beloved Homeland.
May the Almighty Creator yet bless this land.
Always in National Development
Teacher, Sports Coach and Youth Development Worker.
Did the police ask Ronald Marks to produce his firearms booklet and photo identification– which all license holders are obliged to have with them when carrying their weapon — proving that he was the legal owner of the firearm in question and also showing that that his annual license fee had been paid? If not, this was a gross dereliction of duty for which they should be held accountable.
But, of course, the police are never held accountable for their incompetence.
We all wait to hear whether Mr. Marks will be held accountable for both assault and threating someone with a lethal weapon, a handgun, in this case — which is defined as a threat simply by pointing the gun at someone without needing to verbally ulter a threat — or whether he would be treated with a simple slap on the wrist like his wife the former High Court Registrar, Tamara Gibson-Marks, who was fined and then disbarred from practicing in the OECS rather than being sent to prison, as most people believed was the penalty she deserved for robbing the people of SVG (https://www.iwnsvg.com/2014/10/14/former-registrar-tamara-gibson-marks-fined-10000/), or even be completely uninvestigated like Carlos James who illegally pelted shots in public during the 2015 election campaign (https://www.iwnsvg.com/2015/11/14/election-candidate-fires-gunshots-to-quell-rain-of-missiles/ ).
We all know the answers to these questions.
We all know that ULP people are untouchable, as the comments to the officer by Mr. Marks clearly reveal.
Marks major and Marks Minor sounding like 2 gutter rats
Two sets if laws in Vince one for the rich and mighty and one for the downtrodden.
The Police Force should fall directly under the Governor General free from any sort of political interference and every man Jack should and must be held accountable for his or her actions if he breaks the laws of the land. By right the police officer should have been able to seize his firearm to prevent a further breach of the peace. I wont even blame the police because if he had indeed arrested anyone how would they be transported? the poor officer probably hitched a ride to get there, because of lack of transportation that is available to them. Marks and sister should be held accountable for breaking the law and once due process is adhered to, they should be taken before the court like everyone else. Who do they really think they are calling people nobody and nothing?
MOTHER OF ALL FRACAS
The reporter, (almost always), has been comprehensive in his reporting.
This incident is capable of being described as the ‘…Mother of all Fracas.’
Given the accounts, the fighting parties could all be jointly charged with ‘(i) …Disorderly Conduct; (ii) Aiding and abetting; (iii)…some with Assault and Battery (iv)… some with Indecent/Abusive language; and (v) …one assault with a firearm.’
Irrespective of legal status, convictions are inevitable.
The gun-toting attorney runs the risk of having his Firearm’s licence revoked.
Not sure what life the ‘…warring parties’ are living, but C. Ben
David has raised very pertinent and critical investigative questions.
From a professional perspective, it appeared that law enforcement personnel may have been ‘…cowed by the cowboy attorney.’
With no arrests and/or seizure of the firearm, there and then, their
handling of the incident is not only suspect, but also appeared reek of ‘…incompetence.’
It also points to a ‘…serious and unpardonable dereliction of duty’ and could see ‘…neglecting officers’ being summoned to the ‘…Orderly Room.’
Subscribing to the Oath of office, that states, inter alia an officer shall ‘…faithfully and without favor or affection; …malice or ill-will discharge his duties according law’ [ANU: Section 17: Police Act Chapter 330].
I belive dinky wife shame on you an you sister Mr marks you is a disgrace too hit a woman , you is a woman you is a disgrace, ,poor thing
well well this is a case in which St Vincent so call elites exposed their venom and diatribe. These mixed race mongrels behave like massa of long ago, i say shame on them. Its a class war.Listen to their conversation, dont it reminds you of massa? Note they occupy the same area that massa once lived.Know your history vincy.
Stephen Huggins, I appreciate your comments with reference to me, but please be more specific with more details.
Now these are concerns and issues, with respect to the incident and the characters in the above story:
1. There is no code of conduct for lawyers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines;
2. When they applied for their licences to practice law were character references a requirement;
3. I attended Grammar School with Ronnie Marks, Camillo Gonsalves, Stephen Williams, Elsworth Dacon, Peter Prescod, Glen Beache and so many others. I must say my opinions of some of these individuals and characters were formulated in those precious and memorable days;
4. Patricia Marks, once advised me, that I was crazy. I did not realize that she has a medical degree;
5. Dinky Balcombe, Basil Balcombe must be rolling in his grave. Alison “LAMBA” Balcombe your political hopes for DINKY may have expired. Alison, I know that you spent a lot of money to send DINKY to school in the UK, so I suggest that you should convince my sperm donor to spend some of his, since you have some influence. This is a coded message for LAMBA, since he knows me;
6. As for the other female lawyer, I have never heard of her. until now. Is she trying to resurrect Dinky’s POLITICAL quest and or fortune, if any?;
7. Ralph Gonsalves , the ULP , famliy and so many others have been trying to destabilize, demoralize and demobilize me for years, hoping that I will give up on my political quest;
8. The above story further demonstrates that I am correct that I am going to be Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with the blessings of the Good Lord and the Great people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and
9. God does not sleep. Everything that happens in darkness must and shall come to light. I am very fearless.
Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making
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