A businessman, his worker and patrons managed to escape unhurt after arsonists poured a flammable liquid and set fire to a popular spot in San Fernando with them inside.
While no one was injured, Samlal Rooplal, owner of Styles Restaurant also known as Toy’s Bar, has to find tens of thousands of dollars to repair and replace his damaged property.
Rooplal said the three assailants did not announce a hold-up nor did they steal anything when they entered his business place at Cipero Road, Retrench Village, around 7.45 pm on Saturday. One of them, however, was armed with a gun.
In an interview with reporters at his business place yesterday, Rooplal recalled that the three men were looking very suspicious.
He said when they entered, one of them bought three beers and the other two were in the area with the slot machines and roulette table.
Rooplal said he was waiting to “clear out” a patron who was playing on a machine, but he kept his eyes on the assailants.
“The guy (assailant) rest the container of gas on the next table and I tell him he could not bring in the gas, why he bring it in the business place. And next guy pulled the gun at me and he take the gas and he sprinkle it all about and they scratch a lighter and they run.”
Rooplal said everyone scampered out of the business place.
He admitted he was scared.
“I done see death already.”
But, after the assailants ran out, he and two other men used a hose and buckets to quell the flames. However, he said his air-conditioning unit, chairs, and some of his gaming machines, including the roulette table, were damaged in the blaze.
Although he was shaken by the incident, Rooplal said he opened on Monday because, “you hadda live, you could be scared. You living in a frightening time now.”
Rooplal said he remained baffled as to why someone would want to burn his establishment down but he said he was leaving everything in the hands of the police.
He said he was robbed several years ago, but it is the first time that he experienced anything like this incident.
Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce president Kiran Singh who visited Rooplal, who he said was also his friend, called for the perpetrators to face the full brunt of the law when they are arrested.