UPDATE – 9/19/2022 @ 6:30PM: HN just got off the phone with Howie Carr after speaking with him on his afternoon radio show, and according to Howie, he spoke with the people at Flashback, a downtown “retro arcade bar & grill” in downtown Hyannis, and the initial details provided by Enrique differ greatly from the version of events provided to HN earlier this morning on Winter Street. According to Flashback’s version, Enrique was inside their establishment when his debit cards ran out of money. As the story goes, Enrique was not bothering anyone so they allowed him to stay inside the bar until closing time. According to Flashback, Enrique left around closing time and was not forcefully removed as initially related by Enrique earlier this morning. Howie also learned a group of the migrant Venezuelans being “temporarily” sheltered at Joint Base Cape Cod had arrived earlier in Hyannis on a “tour bus.”
HOWIE’S UPDATE: We just spoke with Peter Kempton, owner of Flashback:“Apparently this guy came in around 10-10:30. He had a couple of beers and tried to pay for them with a government-gift card. He had three of them, the first two were dead but he had a little left on the third one.“When he tried to pay, he was about $2 short, but he wasn’t bothering anybody, so we just let him stick around until closing time. Tried to talk to him with one of those interpreter apps, but it didn’t work. He liked the music, and he didn’t want to leave, but finally he had to, because we had to close. There was nothing physical.“The cops picked him up on Winter Street, about a mile away, a couple of hours later. Nobody’s [at Flashback] yet, so I don’t know what happened to his glasses…” CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF HOWIE’S REPORT
INITIAL HN REPORT – DEVELOPING!
HYANNIS – Enrique tells HN he was a horse jockey in Venezuela before his arduous journey north. A journey that recently involved a chartered jet dumping him and about 49 other migrants on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. But alas, after Martha’s Vineyarders were ultimately unable to pony up with any meaningful, lasting form of assistance, Enrique and his migrant cohorts once again found themselves quickly saddled up, riding out of town, to once again be relocated elsewhere – someplace yonder – someplace down the road. This time it was by ferry and bus to mainland Cape Cod. Joint Base Cape Cod to be more exact.
Governor Baker’s office had just made the following announcement, only three days ago:
“Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced new shelter and humanitarian supports at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) for the approximately 50 migrants who arrived in Martha’s Vineyard this week. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is coordinating efforts among state and local officials to ensure access to food, shelter and essential services for these men, women and children. Governor Charlie Baker also plans to activate up to 125 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as part of this relief effort.”
Fast forward to this morning, shortly before 3:00 a.m., when Barnstable police officers responded to a call regarding a man in need of assistance in the area of 84 Winter Street. Upon arrival, officers learned the man (later identified as Enrique) only spoke Spanish. Officers did their best, attempting to translate using phone apps but were obviously in need of additional assistance.
I speak Spanish and was able to assist officers in learning more about the situation… the following is the gist of what I was able to find out:
The man told HN his name was Enrique and that he was 37-years-old. He had been one of the 50 migrants that landed on Martha’s Vineyard last week. Enrique was currently being sheltered with other Venezuelans at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC). Sometime yesterday – Sunday, September 18, 2022 – earlier in the day, Enrique and some of the other migrants being sheltered at JBCC arrived in Hyannis by bus. Enrique held up one of two cellphones to show me a video and some photos of him doing a little sightseeing of the Hyannis area.
But unfortunately, as the afternoon wore on, Enrique found himself separated from the group and lost in downtown Hyannis. In short, he missed the bus ride back to JBCC.
Now lost, Enrique decided to visit a downtown bar where he played video games and had a couple of beers while trying to decide what to do next.
What happens next is still a little confusing and is still being looked into by the Barnstable Police Department. Enrique told HN that about an hour or so before calling police, he had been playing an arcade video game when the man in charge of the place began speaking to him in English, which he did not understand. (From what I gather, it sounded like it was closing time and the bar employee may have been trying to tell Enrique it was time to leave.) At some point, according to Enrique, he was forcefully kicked out of the bar onto Main Street. And according to Enrique, his pre-loaded debit card, his only form of money, was still inside the bar somewhere, possibly in the custody of the establishment. Enrique said he had also left his eyeglasses inside the bar. Without his eyeglasses and any form of money, Enrique began walking the downtown area looking for assistance. He finally found a man on Winter Street who was kind enough to notify police.
Upon learning the name of the bar, officers went to check to see if they could recover Enrique’s debit card and eyeglasses. But by this time the bar had been closed for nearly two hours and all bar employees were long gone. Officers were able to jot down one of Enrique’s cellphone numbers and had me explain to him that they would follow up with the bar later when they reopen.
Enrique was a friendly gentleman who told me a little bit about his dangerous journey north. His journey from Venezuela took him through inhospitable jungles, pueblos and cities. In one town in Mexico, Enrique said he had been jumped by some men who didn’t like him or other foreigners passing through. Outnumbered, he was badly beaten and stabbed in the neck (he showed us what appeared to be a newly healed knife wound, from an apparent stabbing that had miraculously just missed his jugular). But the beating didn’t end there… badly injured and bleeding, he was violently held down as one of the angry brutes used pliers to yank out several of his teeth! It was a harsh journey to say the least… and something tells me that being kicked out of a Hyannis bar has been the very least of Enrique’s recent trials and tribulations.
Our sympathetic Barnstable Police Officers instantly took a liking to Enrique, eventually giving him a ride back to their headquarters until they could figure out a way to get him back to JBCC. From headquarters, a patrolman eventually drove Enrique up to the highway where a Massachusetts State Trooper kindly gave him a ride the rest of the way back to his “temporary” shelter at Joint Base Cape Cod.
P.S. – Today’s Hytown Vignette is a brought to you by Poncho Sanchez… [CLICK IT/CRANK IT!]
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