I pulled up to Marbucks coffeehouse here on Ambergris Caye this morning to see one of the owners, Rob Eykelbeysh, being escorted down to the police station.
I asked him what was happening and he smiled and said it is all good.
But it isn’t.
The little man who lives across the street, let’s call him Kyle From Texas, had posted two particularly nasty signs on his property, aimed at his tenants in the iconic Palapa Bar and Grill, Scott and Jodie Harnish. The signs replaced the ones the government of Belize had recently ordered removed. The ones announcing a four-story condo project on the site. Apparently the signs were way ahead of the official approval process. And you can’t do that.
People claim that Kyle has been waging an unholy war against Scott and Jodi all year, since he bought the property, to get them to vacate the bar before their lease is up December 31st. I don’t believe it. No one is that stupid.
For one, Scott and Jodie took the Palapa from a hangout for druggies and hookers to become the most iconic must-visit bar on the island. Why would you want to trample all that good will?
Reports that Kyle has been badgering, bullying and bad-mouthing Scott and Joi, in order to get Scott to punch him so he can file assault charges and break the release are just silly. First, a punch from Scott, a retired US fireman, would be the last thing little Kyle remembers for months, if not years. I’m sure he’s not that stupid. Second, people who go around trying to get other people to punch them need help, quickly. And I don’t think we have that kind of help on the island, or in Belize.
Anyone that sick would really need to leave the island as soon as possible. But then, I’m not a doctor, just a concerned citizen.
Also, I find it really hard to believe that Kyle is boasting that he has government officials in his back pocket, as some people are saying. Why would an intelligent businessman boast about something so delicate as a cooperative arrangement between government and private enterprise in such a crass and disrespectful manner?
There are so many many stories about Kyle like this, all swirling around like panels of some cartoon character come to life. It is mind boggling. I mean, why would somebody move to a small island like Ambergris Caye with the single-minded goal of getting everyone on the island to hate him? It just doesn’t make sense. Does it?
While it is true that Kyle removed more than a dozen planks from the dock leading out to the Palapa Bar earlier this year, it was all a simple misunderstanding. Kyle was just angry because he thought the Harnishes were a month behind on rent and utilities. I mean what landlord wouldn’t rip up planks in a situation like that?
And as soon as Kyle’s own lawyer informed him that he was dead wrong about the bills, he had the planks restored. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work with a land lord who is that considerate? Know what I mean?
Then this morning, there were Kyle’s new signs.
Some might say they are taunting Scott and Jodie, especially since their lease is far from finished.
One says “No new lease!!! Scott – Jodi<sic> the gods have spoken, the gods have spoken. Lift your anchor. You are out-a-here!!!”
Now, I ask you, is that taunting?
Apparently Rob who with his partner has built a beautiful bed and breakfast and coffee shop right across the street from Kyle was objecting to the signs last night. Words were said.
This morning he is in
jail the police station.
(Update: Police asked Rob to come to the station to make a statement on his own behalf to the complaint filed by Little Kyle. So, he wasn’t actually arrested.)
I say he was striking a blow for decency and common courtesy, although I have my doubts that any blows were actually struck. It was more like words were exchanged and Kyle spilled his drink on the ground.
We’ll let the police sort that one out.
I just can’t figure out why Kyle, who pulled out in his red and black golf cart shortly after the police left, was leering and laughing while he stared over at Marbucks.
Well, read the signs and you be the judge.