Bethel boys change their tune on COVID-19

Story by LOYSE VINCENT

Image of repentant Bethel men taken from the viral social media video. (Image: LOYSE VINCENT)

Another social media video, starring young men from Bethel, Tobago, has gone viral.

This time, the men can be seen apologizing to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago for trivializing the COVID-19 threat and disrespecting the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

Three days before, the same individuals had starred in a video, filled with expletives, announcing that there was no “lockdown”, just after the Government advised non-essential workers to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

In the first video, the men appeared to be having an outdoor party in defiance of the Government’s directive.

They also appeared to be consuming alcohol. Dancing they declared: “There is no lockdown in Bethel” and “(expletive) the Police!”

When the first video surfaced, Guardian Media reached out to the Head of Police in Tobago, ACP Vernon Roberts, who said he had not seen the recording but was aware of its existence.

He said he had asked his officers to investigate the circumstances related to the video and was told it was an old recording. 

When the new video surfaced on Thursday, Guardian Media again reached out to ACP Roberts for a comment on the latest development. However, several calls to his cell phone went unanswered.

In the latest 110-minute video, the men appear to have been apprehended by masked policemen and taken to the Scarborough Police Station.

They face the camera, and one-by-one, apologize for their “unruly and obscene behaviour”.

At the end of the video, they appeared together and said: “We want to tell the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago that COVID-19 is a very serious virus.”

The video concluded with the men urging citizens to take COVID-19 “seriously” and “stay at home”.