Mak­ing a bloody mess

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page - By Car­los Atwell

car­losatwell@na­tion­news.com

Paint­ball is all about speed, ac­cu­racy, team­work and con­cen­tra­tion. Be­ing phys­i­cally fit won’t hurt ei­ther.

With all this in mind, my first foray into the sport was noth­ing but a to­tal mess.

Along with my part­ner in hi­jinks, pho­tog­ra­pher Nigel Browne, I de­cided to “try a ting” af­ter high­light­ing paint­ball for my Street Beat col­umn.

Be­ing a marks­man, Browne has no is­sues with ei­ther a cam­era or a marker. My ex­pe­ri­ence with aim­ing and fir­ing at mov­ing tar­gets went no fur­ther than the dig­i­tal realm, so I was in way over my head. Still, it sounded like fun and a new ex­pe­ri­ence. Be­sides, it couldn’t go as badly as my foray into hik­ing. Oh how wrong I was. Ad­mit­tedly, I had that feeling of be­ing a sol­dier af­ter putting on the mask and re­ceiv­ing my marker, a large one af­fec­tion­ately dubbed with a nick­name best left out of print. Hav­ing strapped on the chest plate and get­ting the mini cam­era on top of the mask turned on like they do on tele­vi­sion, I was good to go, feeling like the ea­ger sports­man. But I am no sports­man, and paint­ball in­volves quite a bit of run­ning and even some jump­ing – not my forte.

I par­tic­i­pated in the first skir­mish of the evening as part of a three-man team with Nigel as the non­par­tic­i­pat­ing pho­tog­ra­pher. That, how­ever, did not stop him from get­ting clipped – but I di­gress.

Ref­eree Kevin Norville read out the in­struc­tions and we were ready to go. One of the top play­ers, aptly named Rambo, was on the op­po­site team but my strat­egy was all worked out. Af­ter all, I had done it in such pop­u­lar video games as Halo 3 and Breath Of The Wild. How hard could it be? It was all about tak­ing cover and pa­tiently wait­ing un­til some poor soul gets in my sights and lit­er­ally paint them. Sim­ple.

Things, how­ever, went ter­ri­bly wrong from the out­set, as the ter­rain was on a small hill and to get to the best cover you had to get to the top. As I started go­ing up, the mask felt like a plas­tic bag wrapped around my head.

There was no way I was mak­ing it to the cen­tre where there was a wall struc­ture, but I did man­age to hob­ble be­hind some bush. Turns out bush is not very good cover, as some­thing soon flew across and hit my knee. I thought that was it but the paint­ball didn’t break, so I lived on.

Scram­bling up higher – putting my­self at greater risk of a heart at­tack – I slipped on some wet grass and set­tled in an in­den­ta­tion, where I found my­self trapped. As I tried to es­cape, my hand touched some­thing stringy – it was a web and above me was a large spi­der scur­ry­ing away – how nice.

On the ground, out of breath and ready to call it a day, I heard “sur­ren­der!” The com­mand was from a mem­ber of the op­pos­ing force who had sneaked up on me – you are not al­lowed to shoot the mark­ers at close range. So, I was out, thank God.

I sat out the next game but grudg­ingly agreed to join Nigel for the third. This time, Rambo was on our side, so I scur­ried be­hind dis­tant cover and stayed there, tak­ing pot­shots while the two elite team mem­bers took care of busi­ness.

As with hik­ing, I was en­cour­aged to re­turn as paint­ball is sup­pos­edly also fun while pro­vid­ing ex­er­cise. But, also like with hik­ing, the jury is still out on an en­core.

GO to the High Court.

That was the ad­vice of Mag­is­trate Wanda Blair to at­tor­neys for De­wayne Carlo Grif­fith, who ap­peared be­fore her yes­ter­day in the Ho­le­town Mag­is­trates’ Court.

And that, said at­tor­ney Arthur Holder, is ex­actly what he plans to do to se­cure bail for the man who is ac­cused of as­sault­ing, re­sist­ing and ob­struct­ing top cop, Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Ty­rone Grif­fith.

Grif­fith, 39, of Stroud Bay, Crab Hill, St Lucy, made his first ap­pear­ance be­fore the St James court where he main­tained his not guilty pleas to the Oc­to­ber 28 charges. He had orig­i­nally ap­peared be­fore the District “D” Mag­is­trates’ Court and had been re­manded to prison to ap­pear at the Ho­le­town court yes­ter­day.

As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Trevor Black­man main­tained the pros­e­cu­tion’s ob­jec­tion to bail, but de­fence at­tor­ney Sha­dia Simp­son ar­gued that the ac­cused should be treated like any­one who was ac­cused of as­sault.

“At the end of the day, a com­plainant is just a com­plainant,” she said.

How­ever, Mag­is­trate Blair said she con­sid­ered the al­le­ga­tions to be se­ri­ous, es­pe­cially given that the com­plainant was the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice.

“You can go else­where,” the mag­is­trate told Simp­son.

“Mr Grif­fith, your bail is de­nied,” she then told the ac­cused as she re­manded him to HMP Dodds un­til De­cem­ber 7.

How­ever, Holder later de­clared: “We are go­ing to the High Court for bail in re­spect of De­wayne Grif­fith. That is what we will be do­ing.”

“It is who these per­sons are,” he added as he ac­cused the me­dia of prej­u­dic­ing his client.

Rambo show­ing me how to use the rather large marker dubbed “Big .....”. Rather fit­ting, I think. Nigel forc­ing me to sur­ren­der dur­ing a spe­cial match. Never saw him com­ing. (Pic­tures by Nigel Browne.)

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