He Tried Not to Spill His Drink. Now He's in a 'Nightmare'

Jamie Harron, 27, accidentally brushed against a man's hip in Dubai
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2017 10:30 AM CDT
Updated Oct 14, 2017 8:56 AM CDT
He Tried Not to Spill His Drink. Now He's in a 'Nightmare'
Tourists take a selfie in front of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, in Dubai.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

He was trying not to spill his drink. That's what a Scottish tourist says led to his arrest in Dubai for touching a man's hip, the BBC reports. Jamie Harron, 27, says he was walking with a drink in the crowded Rock Bottom Cafe when he put out his hand "to avoid impact" with a patron, per the Press Association. The incident happened July 15 after the electrician stopped off in Dubai for a couple days en route to a job in Afghanistan. Police arrested Harron on charges of public indecency and drinking alcohol, casting the electrician in an "outrageous" saga that shows no signs of ending, says Radha Stirling of the Detained in Dubai NGO. "This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai," she says.

Harron was locked up for five days and his passport was seized so he couldn't leave the country while the case is pending. Stirling says Harron "is under immense pressure and stress." He lost his job and has so far racked up more than $39,000 in legal bills and expenses for what he calls a "cultural misunderstanding," per the Sun. His parents say their son has never been in trouble before. "We can't believe that this nightmare has gone on for three months. Jamie is a good boy," says dad Graham Harron. The legal troubles have left the family finances in shambles, and mom Patricia Harron desperate with worry. "There's no chance of sleep," she says. Jamie Harron says he has witnesses ready to back up his version in court. (A woman was jailed in Dubai after reporting a rape.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.