Feb 07, 2009 News
His battle-scarred body bears evidence of a tough life, but this Lodge resident declares: I am no killer!
By Michael Benjamin
A resident of Norton Street, Lodge, whom his fellow villagers dubbed a potential killer, has vehemently denied the allegations, stating instead that he is just a victim of abuse.
The man, Orrin Burkette, was referring to an article appearing in this newspaper last Saturday. Residents of Lodge Housing Scheme had labelled ‘a certain resident’ living in Norton Street, Lodge a potential killer. Burkette said that he has every reason to believe that he is the resident referred to.
He said that early on the morning of Saturday, January 31last, he had a fight with a friend, Eusi Johnson, over a bottle of rum. He said that they were at a party in Joseph Pollydore Street at the time. Burkette also admitted chopping Johnson after disarming him. However, he said that Johnson had dealt him several stabs about his body, and he was merely defending himself.
Burkette said that the fracas had its genesis when he and some other friends, including Johnson, were hanging out in front of the Bloomingsdale Night Club. He said that they were consuming a ‘grenade’ (a mini bottle of XM rum). He said that after the contents of that bottle were depleted, his friends nominated him to go to the bar and purchase another. He said that the alcohol was being sold at the Bar for $600, as against $300 at a nearby shop.
The man related that he decided to capitalize on the cheaper price. “The boys gave me $1500 to buy two ‘tomahawks’ (large XM 5-year-old rum) but the shop had none, so I decided to buy five ‘grenades’ instead,” Burkette said.
He said that when he returned with the alcohol, Johnson approached him and angrily demanded to know what took him so long. He said that he offered an explanation, but, apparently not satisfied, Johnson became angry and started calling him vulgar names. Burkette said they had a heated exchange of words and the situation got out of hand. “Eusi asked me if I want fight and me ent back down,” Burkette said. He said that they proceeded outside of the dance to settle the score. Burkette said that no sooner had they reached outside than Johnson whipped out a knife and dealt him several stabs.
Indeed, there were wounds to several parts of Burkette’s body. The blood oozed from a wound centimetres from his armpit and also from another by his elbow. There was also a bandaged wound on Burkette’s hip. He said that this particular wound was the worst of the lot and necessitated 16 sutures.
All through the interview, the young man was grimacing in pain. When asked to explain the wound on Johnson’s head, Burkette said, “After he attack me, I put meh hands pon a knife and fire a juk.”
Burkette said that a team of police officers arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, and one of them instructed him (Burkette) to seek medical attention. Burkette said that after issuing this command, the officers left the scene. He said that he was not interested in seeking medical help, nor was he interested in reporting the matter to the police.
The man said that it was only after he had left the scene that the seriousness of his injury dawned on him. “I start to feel giddy, so I decided to make a report at Brickdam,” Burkette related.
He said that the officers at that station dropped him off at the Georgetown Public Hospital, and instructed him to visit the Alberttown Police Station to lodge a report when he had received medical attention.
Burkette said that he adhered to those instructions and spoke with the corporal at the front desk of the said station. He said that the officer informed his that his adversary had also lodged a complaint. She further said that she had also sent him to seek medical attention and return with the certificate. The officer, moreover, advised him to wait until Johnson returned, so that she could have taken statements from both parties.
Burkette said that he waited for more than an hour, and after Johnson failed to show up, he left. He said that the officers at the Alberttown station took a statement from him, and ordered him to return the following day.
However, a senior officer at the Alberttown Police Station said that neither Burkette nor Johnson had given a statement. He said that neither of them returned after being sent to the hospital. The officer said that the police could not pursue the matter, since neither of the combatants had conformed to the required protocol.
Addressing other accusations levelled at him, especially the one dubbing him a potential killer, Burkette responded, “Not me! I gon defend meself against anyone who try fo hurt me,” he stated matter-of-factly.
Burkette also admitted that he had had a problem with a neighbour, Paulette Daniels. He said that the woman had taunted him and went out of her way to make life hard for him. He admitted being charged and taken before the courts on the matter. However, he did not say whether he was responsible for the injury to Daniels’s hand.
“The court try de matter and I get off,” was all he would say of the matter.
Explaining the charges of rape levelled at him, he said that he was the victim of a trumped-up charge of sexual molestation. He was found guilty and sentenced to nine months in prison. “Big man, I ent telling yo lie; I does try to live in peace, but these people does molest me whole day,” he said.
The unfortunate Burkette then recited the incident that caused him to lose one of his eyes. He explained that he had shared an intimate relationship with a young lady, but her brother did not approve of it. He said that the girl’s brother came home one day and found the pair in a compromising position. “De man put some terrible blows pon me,” Burkette said.
He said he became exasperated and responded how he knew best. “I just loose he towa-towa (a bird). Burkette said that the man became angry and lashed out. “Is while we did fighting that de man pick up a brick and pelt me straight in me eye,” he said.
Burkette then proceeded to display some of his battle wounds, garnered over years of hostile existence.
Apart from his damaged eye, he had a vicious ‘L-shaped’ wound to his belly.
There were chop wounds to his head and other parts of his body. Some of them had been recently acquired, while others were decades old.
They were silent testimony to Burkette’s sordid tale of a life of violence. “I don’t like police story,” he declared. He did not say how he preferred to settle his disputes. All he said was “I gon defend meself whenever I have to!” Despite this assertive pronouncement, Burkett maintains, “I am no killer; I mind my own business, but I am prepared to defend myself anytime, anywhere,” he declared.
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