RADHICA DE SILVA
A man who claimed he was kidnapped and beaten by six villagers from St Marys is now the subject of an investigation.
This after CCTV footage showed him running amok in the community, smashing two cars, vandalising property and stealing plant pots.
Yesterday, a handful of residents from St Mary’s denied they took vigilante justice saying the man was never kidnapped and the injuries he sustained were not from a beating but were from a fall when he tried to escape.
The residents produced two videos. In the first one, the man was seen flinging a stone and in the second he kicked down what appeared to be a plant pot.
Resident Andy Guerra said he saw the man running from his yard. Showing a dent to the hood of his car, Guerra said he had footage where the man hit the car with a stone and then ran off.
Another resident said she lost two plant pots from under her home and later saw them at the suspect’s house.
She too said the man was on a bond and would commit petty theft in the area.
Recalling the incident, resident Enrico Guerro said after seeing the evidence of the vandalism, a group of villagers went to speak to the man at his home but he was not there. They returned a second time and saw him at a neighbour’s home. He said they tried calling both the Barrackpore Station and the Moruga station but there was no answer. Another resident whose car was also smashed called 999.
Guerro said his father went to the Barrackpore station and while there, a police officer told his father that they had no vehicle and the residents should pick up the suspect and bring him to the station.
“While we were on our way to the station, he jumped off the van. We have footage where he jumped off and we put him back on. We tied him up because we didn’t want him jumping off and damaging himself,” he said.
He explained that the man’s uncle was with them when they spoke about taking him to the police.
Guerro added that while heading to Barrackpore station, they were told to go to Moruga and they turned around. However, some officers from the San Fernando station arrived at Poui Trace Junction where the villagers handed the man over to police.
Meanwhile, community activist Hesper Ali-Darsoo said the villagers were now being painted as the perpetrators rather than the victims.
She said the police did not do a thorough investigation adding that they did not even peruse the CCTV footage which showed the man vandalizing residents’ property.
“How is it the victims end up being accused of kidnapping? How did they reach that assumption? We are at a point where the perpetrator is being treated as a victim and the victims are treated as assailants. I want to call on the Police Commissioner Mr Gary Griffith to investigate because it is very biased. Something is wrong!”
She added, “There is an issue with vehicles at the Barrackpore and Moruga police station and we are upset. Send someone outside to investigate this so there is no bias and prejudice. I want to see what information they got and who they investigated to get that type of information.”
Another resident, Marlon Ali said the man was not beaten but had vandalised residents’ properties.