Stick it up, mister!
Can you hear what I’m saying now, yeah?
Over the weekend, Toots and The Maytals were doing their version of John Denver’s “(Take Me Home) Country Roads” at the Dominion Riverrock festival—a song you’d think would go down a treat in Virginia—but an intoxicated moron identified by Richmond police as William Lewis, 19, had to go and ruin everyone’s good time by hurling a glass bottle at Toots Hibbert, hitting him right in the head. Hibbert was able to walk off the stage without help, but was rushed to the hospital where he was given seven stitches.
From Jamaican’s Music:
Speaking with The Gleaner, Andrea Davis, a member of Toots and the Maytals’ management team, noted that this was a first for the artiste but he remains in high spirit continuing the tour.
“This is the first ever. We have never had an incident like this. We have been travelling around the world for over 40 years and this has never happened,” she said. “It is a most unfortunate and unprecedented incident for an artiste of this stature.”
Lisa Sims, with Venture Richmond, the group that helps run Riverrock, explains that it’s mysterious as to how Lewis smuggled the bottle in the venue but measures have been taken to tighten loose ends.
“There are bag checks regularly,” Sims said. “You can’t just bring a big backpack in here full of stuff, and people aren’t looking at it. If there is any sort of incident or anything that gives us pause at any time, we obviously look at ways we might tighten things up,” she continued adding that the venue is reviewing its security procedures.
Police have arrested William Lewis, 19, and charged him with public intoxication and a felony count of aggravated assault.
A felony conviction for a class 6 assault in Virginia can mean one year in jail and a fine of $2500, on up to five years in a state prison. That this act of senseless violence was perpetrated in public, with literally dozens of witnesses able to finger him, and plenty of video, leaves William Lewis, 19, the “alleged” bottle-throwing tosser (see what I did there?) with quite a future ahead of him.
I hope it was worth it? Of all the people in the world worth having a bottle hit them over head, this dummy thought attacking the great Toots Hibbert, the hardest working man in reggae—now 67—was a good idea?
Here’s a link to the regrettable incident, caught on a cell phone. Hibbert went on to perform the next night in New York. Anyone with who witnessed the bottle throwing, or who has video of the event, is urged to contact Hibbert’s management at his Facebook page.
Below, Hibbert and his Maytals sing the classic, “54-46 That’s My Number” about his own time spent in prison for cannabis possession in 1966. Young Mr. Lewis needs this tune on his fucking iPod: