Constabulary officer stabbed, foils break and enter attempt
A City Constabulary officer is counting his lucky stars after being wounded by bandits who attempted to break into a Bourda Market stall early yesterday morning. Constable Samuel Scotland is in a stable condition, nursing a single stab wound to his upper right chest at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The 33-year-old Nabaclis, East Coast Demerara resident, was caught off guard when he walked into an ongoing robbery during his regular patrol of the premises at Bourda Green. Scotland told Kaieteur News that around 2:30hours he was making his regular rounds of the market when he heard a noise emanating from one of the stalls.
“I hear de noise and I say that ain’t sound like no cat or no rat. I say it sound like somebody doing something on a roof.”
Scotland said he then proceeded to the area from where he heard the noise and saw a man standing on top of the stall when he shone his torchlight. The rank said he raised an alarm while his eyes remained fixed on the man on the roof. During this time, Scotland said he assumed that the assailant could not have seen him as the man kept looking around.
“He keep looking around and peeping to see wheh I deh, but he couldn’t see me cause I stay in de corner,” Scotland said. “But den he jump down on de same side where I was and same time I lash he wit de piece of wood I had.”
Scotland recalled that his attacker fell to the ground so he quickly sought to make an arrest. But in doing so, the Constable said that the man got up and a scuffle ensued. It was during that time that Scotland said he noticed the man pull something shiny from his waist and “fire a bore.” The officer said he pulled away and his assailant took off running.
Scotland said he did not give up there as he took off running after the robber. His chase was however fruitless because the man managed to escape. Another man was however caught hiding in the grocery stall. By the time Scotland said he returned to the targeted stall, his colleagues had already come to his aid.
The Constable however told Kaieteur News that it was not until 15 minutes after being wounded that he realized it. The Constable said he returned to the Constabulary’s headquarters and then he noticed that his shirt was soaked in blood. The officer was immediately taken to the hospital where he was admitted.
Rupdeo Umrao is however thankful to Constable Scotland for his vigilance and wishes the officer a speedy recovery. He said Scotland was able to prevent the bandits from taking anything from his 225-226 grocery stall. Umrao said that he received a phone call around 5:00hours yesterday from members of the constabulary informing him about the incident.
He said that he went down to the Constabulary headquarters and was led to the stall where he noticed that the persons had attempted entry through the roof. The man said the zinc was raised and the crooks had removed the ceiling boards to get in.
In his 25 years of business, Umrao said he was robbed once before.
Chief Constabulary Officer, Andrew Foo, told Kaieteur News that one man is in custody and as investigations continue, the identity of the other assailant would soon be revealed. The senior rank said that headquarters had received word of the robbery and quickly dispersed assistance.
One of the officers, he said, was hurt but is recovering at the city’s hospital.
Foo also said that Scotland may have stumbled on a bigger case than he thought. According to him, the bandits may have been the same ones conducting similar break-ins during the last few weeks. Foo confirmed that on Friday, another stall belonging to one Winston Lambert was also broken into. Saturday into Sunday morning, other attempts were made and Sunday into yesterday, Foo said, the persons were apprehended. The robbers will also be questioned in connection with other recent break-ins where crooks used the same means of entry.
On the issue of defence, Foo highlighted that City Hall might have to revisit issues of retooling the ranks. While officers may be equipped with batons, Foo pointed out that most times, crooks are armed with guns, knives and cutlasses. They are often well organized and their plots well laid out.
Foo said that maybe officers are not properly armed and equipped to deal with such situations. He said that at least 70 per cent of the constabulary’s staff are women and the need for retooling may have to be reviewed.