Assault over $100 lands “cart man” in court
A push cart operator who reportedly attacked a stall owner over $100 on Friday was yesterday reprimanded on charges of assault and threatening behaviour when he appeared before Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Akeem Anthony Castillo was spared when the court found that the police conducted improper investigations since the stories of both parties differed from the information of the court prosecutor.
Prior to this revelation, Castillo, on May 11 at Brickdam, reportedly assaulted and threatened Tarcharran Bharrat. To the charge he pleaded guilty.
The court prosecutor then told the court that the victim in the matter is a vendor at the Stabroek Market and that on the day of the incident; the defendant collected some produce from the wife of the victim at their Prasad Nagar home and was supposed to take the goods to Bharrat’s stall in the Stabroek Market.
The police continued that when Castillo arrived at the market he charged $200 for the delivery of the goods but the stall owner refused to pay the requested fee. Instead, Castillo was told by the complainant that he would usually pay $100 to deliver the goods and that was what he was paying.
According to the police, the defendant became annoyed and picked up a knife that the complaint had at his stall and started firing stabs at the victim. Bharrat reportedly managed to take the knife away from the defendant who then resolved to butting the victim several times to the head. After falling to the ground, the police said, the stall owner got up and went to the police mobile unit located at the market and made a report. Castillo was later arrested and charged for the offence.
Castillo wasted no time in informing the court of the inconsistencies in the police report. The defendant when asked to give his side of the story said that he did go to the victim’s home to collect goods and that while there he informed the man’s wife that he would deliver the goods for a fee of $200. He said that Mrs. Bharrat allegedly told him to request his fee from her husband.
Castillo said that when he arrived at the market he told the stall owner what his fee was but in a harsh manner, Bharrat replied that he only paying $100. Castillo said this then prompted him to ‘seize’ one of the man’s squash as payment for his services.
It was at that point he said the stall owner picked up the said knife that the police spoke about and threatened him. He said Bharrat attacked him and he received a stab wound on the left hand. That wound was shown to the magistrate and she concluded that the man’s wound was consistent with his story.
Castillo then said that he butted the stall owner who fell to the ground. Next thing, the man said, he felt ‘one box behind he head’ and then noticed that it was the victim’s wife. Bharrat then got up from the ground and went to make a report to the police.
Bharrat too had a story to tell. He maintained that Castillo picked up the knife on him and after taking it away the man bit him on the chest. That wound was also shown to the court and it was confirmed that he too had injuries.
The court then determined that a scuffle was what really transpired at the stall. She put together that the parties had a scramble which resulted in both persons being hurt.
But none of what was revealed to the court was in the police file. The magistrate was quite upset about the police’s investigation of the matter, if any was conducted, as she stated. It was also discovered that not even a statement from the investigating rank could be found in the police file. And since proper investigations were not conducted, the appropriate charges were not laid.
The defendant also said that he was locked up since Friday last.
After a stern talk to both parties about their behaviour, Castillo was reprimanded on the charge and he was told to use the time he had already spent in the lock ups for reflection.