By Michelle Sutherland
The Police have issued an arrest warrant for Leader of the Opposition (LOO) Hon. Patrick Faber.
According to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, the warrant was issued in relation to allegations of harm against his fiancée Dr. Shannika Arnold and for damage to property.
While being cautious not to venture into details of the case, Williams told the media, "Yesterday, Ms. Arnold did visit the Domestic Violence Unit in Belize City, and she made a complaint against the leader of the Opposition Hon. Patrick Faber. …The report is one of a domestic nature where she is alleging that Mr. Faber had caused damage to her laptop and had also assaulted her as she was about to leave their home in the Lords Bank Area. Police have since issued a warrant in the first instance for the arrest of Mr. Faber and at this time he is currently being sought by the Police so that he can be charged and taken before the court."
Responding to the media's questions, Williams confirmed that the complainant had reported that Faber had allegedly clubbed her on her hands with a hammer, causing her injuries, which a doctor later classified as harm. Additionally, Williams said that Arnold also had notable bruises to her face and claimed that she had sustained them when she crashed into a door that Faber had also pushed as she attempted to escape from him.
Regarding reports that Faber had slashed Arnold's vehicle tire, Williams could not confirm those reports but said, "Yes, she did use his vehicle to go to the station to make reports, and so I guess that was the best available vehicle that she was able to use to escape and go to the police station."
Police Looking for Faber
Williams explained that the Police continue to look for Faber. He confirmed that officers had visited Faber's home in Lords Banks, Ladyville, as well as several other areas where he is believed to be hiding; however, so far, those have been fruitless.
Williams also confirmed that officers at the airports and points of entry have also been notified to be on the lookout for Faber, who remains on the run up to 5:00 p.m on Thursday.
Faber has since secured the services of attorney Richard Dickie Bradley, who intervened by calling the Commissioner of Police on Thursday and informing him that he would be escorting his client to the police station to face the charges against him. However, Williams said that up to the time of his media interview, he has seen neither Bradley nor his client.
The Commissioner further confirmed that Arnold had also visited the police station on Monday of this week to report another case of domestic violence against Faber; however, she had requested that she did not wish to pursue any court action but was lodging the report for future reference. Arnold, however, had to return for a second time on Wednesday, where she lodged an official police complaint and this time requested court action.
Since the news of the dispute emerged, there have been reports that a very senior female official of the United Democratic Party (UDP) had attempted to intervene in the case by allegedly trying to get Arnold to drop the charges against Faber. When asked about this, Williams responded that that was an offense. "I know for a fact that all day yesterday and today, she has been under extreme pressure from many different quarters trying to convince her not to pursue the matter. She has, so far, stood her grounds that she is going to pursue the matter, and so we hope that she will do so."
Change of Heart?
However, just hours after the Commissioner briefed the media, it seems that Arnold might no longer be holding her ground. The Reporter received a letter purportedly written by her and sent to the Commissioner which requested that all charges against Faber be dropped.
Specifically, the letter reads: "Please be advised that I, Shanikka Arnold, hereby wish to withdraw any and all charges levied against Patrick Faber as a result of my report and statement made on the 19th day of January, 2022."
While sources claim that the letter has reached the Compol's desk, he maintains that the police department will be proceeding with the charges despite this latest development.
In his previous interview, Williams had indicated that if Arnold had a change of mind, she would not be able to withdraw those charges at the Police Department. She would only be able to do so before the courts.
In a post on his personal Facebook Page, Faber described the situation as a "misunderstanding" and claimed that the "rumors are inaccurate" and that he and his fiancée will refrain from disclosing any more of their personal information in order to protect Arnold from public scrutiny.
"My number one priority at this time is my fiancée's wellbeing and the wellbeing of my entire family," wrote Faber.
It is noteworthy that Arnold likewise posted a similar statement on her personal social media page as well. She wrote:
"Firstly, We begin by saying that the situation is a misunderstanding, one that really is a matter that we have been dealing with privately. It is our intent to do whatever it takes to keep our family together. While we can assure the public that the rumors are inaccurate, we are at this time unwilling to disclose further private information in an attempt to protect me from any further public scrutiny. I appreciate that Patrick's number one priority at this time is my well being and the well being of our entire family."