Mazaruni Prison escapees recaptured
Two prisoners who had escaped from the Mazaruni Prison on Monday had their freedom cut short after three days, by members of the joint services.
The men, Sean Hopkinson and Carlton Sampson, were recaptured hours apart near Sherima, Essequibo River, about 23 miles from the prison.
The men had scaled the fence of the interior penitentiary and managed to remain at large for three days despite a massive manhunt which was launched hours after the escape by ranks from the Police Force and Army as well as prison authorities.
Police in a statement yesterday said that “about 11:30 hours yesterday, Seon Hopkinson was recaptured in a swampy area at Sherima, Essequibo River; while Carlton Sampson was later recaptured in the same area about 15:15 hours by the Joint Services.”
According to a source, yesterday morning , around 11:00am the two escapees were observed by the police at the Sherima crossing acting in a suspicious manner on board the pontoon which was about to cross over the Essequibo River to Sheribana.
The Police also recognized that the two were not processed as passing through the location and this caused them to approach the two to make queries of them as to why they had not reported to the law enforcement officials.
Hopkinson was immediately apprehended while Carlton Sampson made a dash from the lawmen by jumping into the Essequibo River and swam away.
He was subsequently caught in the nearby swampy area.
Both Seon Hopkinson and Carlton Sampson had escaped from the Mazaruni Prison on Monday, where they were serving sentences for Robbery under Arms and other offences.
Hopkinson, 29, of Blue Berry Hill, Wismar, is the so-called ‘Linden septic tank bandit’ who robbed three Banks DIH salesmen at gunpoint in 2010.
He fled after the robbery but was found hiding in a septic tank. He was serving concurrent three-year sentences for robbery under arms, unlawful possession of firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Carlton Sampson, 30, is said to be from Craig, East Bank Demerara. A police release also gave his address as Crane Old Road, West Coast Demerara.
In September, 2009, he escaped from the Golden Grove Police Station after assaulting a police constable. At the time, he was a suspect in several armed robberies that were committed on East Bank Demerara.
A few days later, Sampson was shot in the left hip by police after being cornered in an abandoned house at Kaneville, East Bank Demerara. He was serving sentences for robbery under arms and escape from lawful custody.
A source at Bartica told this newspaper that the men were probably attempting to cross the Essequibo River to gain access to the getaway road that would have eventually led them to the bauxite mining town of Linden.
“They would have had water but food for three days is another story,” the source said.
There are suggestions that the poor meals being served to the inmates of the Mazaruni Prison may have motivated the two to escape.
A week ago, a prisoner there had contacted this newspaper claiming that the inmates are being given a daily fare of peas and rice and are being “inhumanely treated” as well.
“That is why dem decide to get away. They could no longer deal with that. The food in here is bad enough for anybody to want to escape,” the prisoner said.
The prisoner revealed that the cooks would even serve them milk mixed with flour.
It was also alleged that crops cultivated by prisoners are being sold on Bartica as “pocket money” for some warders.
“They look fresh. They lucky dey alive,” said a source at Bartica where the recaptured prisoners were initially taken.
And the Guyana Prison Service yesterday said in a statement that prisoners are currently secured at the Mazaruni Prison and will be prosecuted for escaping lawful custody.
“The Prisons Directorate and by extension the Ministry of Home Affairs would like to applaud the Joint Services’ search teams for their resilience, professionalism and patience exhibited in the pursuit and recapture of the two inmates.
“The circumstances leading to the escape would be fully investigated and appropriate security and disciplinary actions taken,” the Prison Service statement said.
In addition to serving out their sentences, the men will face additional penalties for the escape.
Meanwhile, the police have issued a bulletin for another escapee, Sherwin Bobb.
Bobb made good his escape just after midday last week Thursday by scaling the 15-foot fence on the eastern side of the prison compound. This is despite the normal presence of armed police ranks around the perimeter of the fortified fence.
Prison officials had received a telephone call from a public-spirited individual on the outside that “a prisoner just jump the fence.” This newspaper understands that Bobb sustained cuts to his hands and other body parts from the razor wire at the top of the fence.
The escapee was reportedly seen in Albouystown by a woman who could not help noticing that he was badly cut. She said that she called the authorities, but they ignored her.
Hours later, he was spotted in the West Demerara area, where he reportedly collected his two children who were born in Cayenne.
Police said that Bobb is 29 years old, brown in complexion and his last known address is Swan Street, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara.
According to the police anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Sherwin Bobb is asked to contact the police on telephone numbers: 226-1326, 225-8196, 225-6411, 911 or the nearest police station.