Son says Dunkirk man held in US was never involved in 'donmanship'Wednesday, June 23, 2021
BY JASON CROSS
THE son of 53-year-old Dean Cooke, who was arrested by authorities in Pompano Beach, Florida last week Thursday for attempting to enter the United States of America illegally by boat, is claiming that his father is being unfairly and incorrectly branded as a “don”, murderer and rapist.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Andre Cooke, the 32-year-old son, said he has no knowledge of his father ever proclaiming or being involved in “donmanship” and said that over a period of 22 years he only managed to see his father for nine months, due to him being constantly arrested for various offences. However, he admitted knowledge of his father serving prison time for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as escaping police custody. After being released from prison in 2014, over two decades after conviction, he was arrested numerous times and held in custody for lengthy periods for things his son says he knew nothing about.
He claimed that information in mainstream and on social media that his father was deported twice is false.
In handcuffs, Dean Cooke — otherwise known as “Boobie Skeng” from the eastern Kingston community of McIntyre Villa, Dunkirk — who was dressed in a red polo shirt and wearing glasses, told a US television news entity that he attempted to enter the country illegally because, “[Is] pure killing going on down there. I really want to leave. No life is in Jamaica.”
Those comments, his son claimed, were what got tongues wagging, leading to persons believing that his father was a '”don”. Instead, he said his father was just an influential figure for the People's National Party (PNP) in Dunkirk, and was convicted for a firearm he was not in possession of.
Cooke claimed that politics could be at play, which was what forced his father to seek refuge in the United States due to fear he would be arrested for lengthy periods again on trumped up charges or killed.
“My father had to do what he did in terms of leaving the island. He is being accused of being wanted and receiving multiple convictions. There are accusations that he was deported twice also. He is being targeted. For over the past 20 years, he has had only one conviction. A lot of things are being said, but it is more likely to be political. For the past 22 years this man has only seen freedom for about nine months. He was convicted in the late 1990s and released in 2014.
“He was charged in December 2014 for murder, the same year he came out of prison. He then came out in 2019. In 2019, in March, dem publish him name as a wanted man. [An attorney] brought him in to the police. He did not get released until March 25, 2021. Noticing he was being targeted, he had to leave the island for The Bahamas,” the son said, and disclosed his father is married to an American citizen.
Despite whatever outcome befalls his father in the United States, Andre wants “rumours” surrounding him to cease. He said his father was no rapist and was never arrested for that offence.
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