Austin: ‘I will accept’ court decision

The longtime host of Rooster FM’s “Crosstalk” radio program, Austin Harris, says he will accept whatever the local courts decide in regard to criminal charges pending against him.  

Mr. Harris, 41, was charged with criminal offenses Monday in connection with a domestic dispute that occurred in March.  

According to a statement from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, “A 41-year-old male from George Town was formally charged … with offenses of common assault and damage to property. The offenses occurred at an address at Governors Harbour on March 9.”  

Although the release did not identify Mr. Harris by name, the talk show host confirmed to the Cayman Compass that it was he who had been charged.  

Mr. Harris was due to appear before Summary Court later this month to answer the charges.  

“Obviously I am disappointed the matter continues to drag on, but I am a firm believer in the importance of process and therefore I must continue to be patient,” Mr. Harris said. “I have asked my God to judge my heart and I now await the courts to judge my actions and I will accept whatever may come.” 

The Cayman Compass contacted Rooster FM station owner Randy Merren regarding Mr. Harris’s continued presence on the morning-drive talk show. The newspaper had not received a response by press time.  

According to the initial statement released by RCIPS, the incident that led to his arrest occurred late Sunday evening, March 9. “The RCIPS can confirm that West [Bay] police officers are investigating a report of an assault and damage to property that occurred at a private residence at Governors Harbour [Sunday] night involving a 41-year-old Caymanian male who resides in the George Town area and a female victim.”  

The report was made to the RCIPS just after 10 p.m. that Sunday. The 41-year-old, later confirmed to be Mr. Harris, was arrested at the George Town Police Station for alleged assault and damage to property.  

Mr. Merren, Hurley’s Entertainment owner, said in a statement in March that Mr. Harris would remain on suspension “until the issue is resolved.”  

Mr. Harris was brought back to host the show again last month despite the case still being under investigation by police. His reappearance on the show, along with new co-host Jonathan Piercy, coincided closely with the advent of a new morning drive-time talk show on government-owned Radio Cayman.  

“On the Record” with former government Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor now airs weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  

Mr. Connor has said he did not intend to compete with Rooster’s “Crosstalk” program. It was evident in recent months that both government Members of the Legislative Assembly and independent MLAs were avoiding the long-running talk show since the appearance of former host and United Democratic Party member Ellio Solomon. Mr. Solomon replaced Mr. Harris following his arrest. 

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