Jul 26, 2009 News Comments Off on Police raid West La Penitence house for suspects in Health Ministry fire
…arrest sleeping teen
By Latoya Giles
The relatives of 19-year-old Clayton Westford, of 7 West La Penitence are pleading with members of the Guyana Police Force to conduct better investigations that would lead to the right perpetrators being arrested.
According to Clifton Westford, his son was arrested early yesterday morning by heavily armed policemen wearing camouflage clothing and masks.
Westford told this newspaper that the police came to his home around 1:00hrs Saturday. The man said that he was awakened by the sound of his neighbour’s fence collapsing along with his dogs barking.
“I jump out of meh sleep after I hear how these dogs barking and de fence breaking, I done now that thief man ain’t gon mek all this noise,” Westford said.
He said that he hid behind his window and saw two men who were wearing camouflage clothing and black masks.
The man said that he came downstairs.
“After I come downstairs and open meh backdoor, they shouted that they were policemen so I went and open my gate because the dogs were giving them hell.”
He said that after he opened the gate, six other heavily armed men in civilian clothing came rushing in and asked about his son.
The concerned father said that he managed to identify one of the officers, and enquired from that officer about the reason for the police barging into his home.
He said that police told him that his son was wanted for questioning into the Ministry of Health fire.
The man further explained to this newspaper that the police went to his son’s bedroom.
“My son was sleeping and they pushing de big guns in his face to wake him up”. Westford said that after his son woke up, the police took him away and said that he would be detained for questioning at the Brickdam Police lockups.
The man said that he puzzled as to why the police would want to arrest his son, since the youth never had any brushes with the law.
The father said that his son is gainfully employed at the Ministry of Finance.
Both parents of the teen have expressed concern over their son’s safety since another suspect for the fire was severely beaten while in police custody.
“I really don’t want nothing happen to Clayton like what they do to that boy (Troy Small) who they held. I done see what these police do to this man and I ain’t want they do de same thing to meh son”.
Troy Small called “Cats” was another suspect whom the security forces had detained for questioning into the Ministry of Health fire. Small was arrested by men wearing military clothing. The man had claimed that on Sunday, last, he was abducted by ranks of the Guyana Defence Force. He also alleged that he was placed into a vehicle while half of his body hanging out of a car he was dragged for several miles from Mandela Avenue to Le Repentir Cemetery where he was beaten with a hammer. Small, the brutalized man, had told this newspaper that he begged for his life while he was being held captive by these men. The man also claimed that he was eventually taken to a house where he observed several men.
“A man tell dem wha bring me, ‘Y’all gone gat fuh carry dis man to de station and tell dem dat he and two man had a fight’ and that is how I get these injuries,” Small told this newspaper.
He was eventually dumped at the Alberttown Police Station where he stayed until his eventual release.
On Friday, Police Commissioner Henry Greene had told the media that four persons were arrested, while two have been released and five others are now wanted for questioning as “they may have information about who was responsible for the arson” that destroyed the $1B Ministry.
Commissioner Greene said that his force is pursuing investigations vigorously. Emphatically stating that no wanted bulletins have been issued, the Commissioner said, all of those arrested may not be directly involved but we think they have some knowledge and can assist us with the investigation.
Last week also the police were seeking the two well-known personalities these Archie Poole and Heston Bostwick to help with investigations. The latter subsequently went in to the police. He remained in custody up to late yesterday.
Police ranks also did several searches in Albouystown yesterday and rounded up several people who ranks say may have knowledge of the origins of the fire.
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