'Romantic dispute behind claims'

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 08:56 10/03/2014
Neal Summers
Derek Flynn
Seamus's Irish Bar owner Neal Summers
Neal Summers
themostwanted.net: Neal Summers on The Most Wanted website in the US state of Indiana

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A Picton bar owner with a warrant for his arrest in the United States says the violation was a misdemeanour offence that happened 14 years ago.

According to a website called themostwanted.net, Seumus's Irish Bar owner Neal Summers is wanted in the US state of Indiana for failing to appear in court on a "neighborhood code violation".

The Marlborough Express received a call on Thursday from a man who would not give his name wanting to know how Immigration New Zealand had let Summers into the country when there was a warrant for his arrest.

But Summers, who bought the bar on Wellington St in July, said the warrant was issued when he didn't appear in court in Indiana in the year 2000 for weeds growing in a car park.

He claimed the man who called the Express was spreading rumours because of a romantic dispute. "He's doing all kinds of things to discredit me," he said.

Summers, who has lived in New Zealand for 13 years, said the rumours started about two months ago.

"I've never come across this [situation] in my entire life," he said.

Summers said he had called the Department of Warrants in Indiana to find out what to do and they "basically laughed", he said.

He was told to contact the division of misdemeanours and traffic to sort out the issue. He had written to them on Thursday, he said.

"It's very irritating. Believe me, this is no serious crime."

He has contacted Picton police about the man he believed was spreading rumours.

Sergeant Kris Payne, of Picton, said he was waiting for more information before he would investigate the complaint.

He had emailed the Indiana Police Department to find out more about the arrest warrant on Summers but had not heard back, he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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