Police have arrested three Rural Constables attached to the South Turkeyen Community Policing Group following the severe beating they reportedly inflicted on 41-year-old Ronald Roberts early yesterday morning.
Roberts, of 24 Industry Front, East Coast Demerara, is nursing a broken right hand and several abrasions about his body.
And to compound matters his car, PJJ 6055, a black Toyota Carina 212 with bore the name ‘Akeela’ on the front windscreen visor, went missing and was only recovered yesterday afternoon abandoned near Plaisance. The rural constables had taken possession of the vehicle after they bullied the driver to the police station.
Senior police officials have confirmed that they are investigating the incident which they claim has put a dent in the integrity of the Guyana police force on whose behalf the Rural Constables were reportedly operating.
Among those involved in the incident are the chairman and treasurer of the South Turkeyen Community Policing Group.
Roberts believes that the men who were reportedly under the influence of alcohol had stereotyped him since he is dreadlocked.
Recounting his ordeal, Roberts said that it was around 01:30 hours when he exited his car on Sheriff Street and was crossing the road that he saw a minibus slowly meandering its way towards him.
He said that as the vehicle neared him, an occupant who was sitting in the front passenger seat slapped him.
“I want know who know me so good to give me a ringing slap like that because I know me ain’t violate nobody,” Roberts said.
He said that he returned to his car and followed the minibus and managed to intercept it on the Railway Embankment between Sheriff Street and Conversation Tree.
Apart from the driver and his front seat passenger, there were five other persons in the back of the minibus. Roberts had no idea what he was getting into.
He said that as he approached the vehicle with a view to getting an explanation for the slap, the occupants from the back of the bus came out. One of them was armed with a cutlass.
“They start beating me. If you see how these men beat me. Is like seven men just beating me. All ah dem drunk, because you smelling de rum,” Roberts told this newspaper.
After receiving a sound beating while being accused of being a thief, he was thrown into the back of the minibus and taken to the Turkeyen Police Station by four of the attackers.
Three of them remained with his car and according to Roberts, they indicated that they were taking it to the Sparendaam Police Station.
Later, the Rural Constables claimed that the car was picked up by one of Roberts’s relatives.
According to Roberts, one of the men who apparently knew him had advised his accomplices to stop the beating but they paid him no mind.
“He telling dem, ‘y’all don’t beat rasta man, I know he from a shop in broad street.’ But dem ain’t listening to he. They just keep beatin me, stamping me face pon de ground, if you see wha dey do me,” Roberts stated.
At the Turkeyen Police Station, Roberts was handed over to the lone rank on duty.
“They trying to bully the policeman after he tell dem that they could get in trouble fuh beating me. When he tell dem that, they coming round de counter fuh beat me again in front of de police. But de policeman run and get a gun and dat is wha mek dem back off,” Roberts recalled.
Contact was then made with a mobile patrol unit in the area.
“When de squad come, dat is wha save de police because they was about to beat he too,” Roberts added.
He believes that from the way the men operated, it was normal for them to beat persons and then take them to the police station, claiming that they were thieves.
“They does behave like them is de Commissioner. These men beat me like an eel and hollering how I is a thief,” he added.
This newspaper understands that the men were not on official duty since they were not accompanied by regular police ranks.
Roberts said that he was denied a phone call to his brother despite several pleas in light of his condition at the time.
“They actually mekking de police do what they want he to do.”
He stated that when the mobile patrol unit arrived at the Turkeyen Police Station, the ranks were shocked to see that he was the person involved, since at least two of them knew him.
“Is when de squad come, then real police wuk start. Because one of the ranks pull de vigilantes behind de bench and start threatening fuh lock dem up. De squad get people with ranks. It had a cadet officer with dem,” Roberts said.
Roberts was then taken to his brother’s residence in Industry since he wanted a relative to accompany him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken hand.
A senior police official on the East Coast of Demerara told this newspaper that while the matter was not being investigated by his Division, those responsible will have to face the consequences of their actions.
The official said that rural constables are trained and advised to act in a professional manner since their actions could reflect badly on the Guyana Police Force.
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