United States of America-based Guyanese, Hardat William, is hoping that the police will take action against leading airline executive Captain Gerry Gouveia, who he alleged pushed him down the stairs of the Roraima Airways office yesterday.
Although he suffered no major physical injuries, the incident has left him stunned, especially since it occurred in the presence of his son and another relative.
It was a double whammy yesterday for William, who is one of the many stranded passengers who are suffering as a result of the problems being currently experienced by the troubled Dynamic Airways.
William, who arrived in Guyana on Dynamic Airways on Thursday for the funeral of his mother in law, was scheduled to return home with the same airline on Sunday.
But the airline encountered difficulties and William and other family members who had travelled to Guyana were left high and dry.
He told this newspaper that he was never informed that the airline was experiencing difficulty with their aircraft, so on Sunday he travelled to the Cheddi Jagan international Airport, certain that he was going home in time to return to his job.
He was in for a shock!
“When we got there, we found out that there was no flight that day, that there will be one the following day,” William recalled.
In fact the Dynamic Airlines aircraft was still in New York.
Yesterday, he still did not hear from Dynamic Airlines officials, so he made a telephone call to the CJIA to enquire if the aircraft had arrived in Guyana and was told that it had not.
This was despite assurances by local Dynamic Airlines representative, Capt. Gerry Gouveia, on Sunday that the flight will all be well by 07:00 hours yesterday.
Nevertheless he travelled to the city to make enquiries about the flight back to the USA, especially since his job was at stake.
He went to the Roraima Airways office on Duke Street, Kingston but was directed to the Head Office in Bel Air where he was told that he could meet directly with the boss, Captain Gerry Gouveia.
“I went to Bel Air to plead with Mr. Gouveia about my plight since my job could be in jeopardy. I first spoke to him on the phone and then he invited me upstairs into his office. We spoke a few words in the office and then he said let’s talk outside,” William told this newspaper.
His son and another relative were with him. They are certainly taken by surprise by what happened next.
Williams said he demanded an explanation from Gouveia about what will be done to facilitate his timely return to the US.
“He asked me, ‘what do you want me to do?’ I told him that I expected if you cannot give me a refund, you could put me on Caribbean Airlines.”
William said that Gouveia told him that he is only the handling agent for the airline and he was not responsible for what happened to the flight.
But William continued to demand that Gouveia facilitate his speedy return to the United States and got no satisfaction.
“He said that there’s nothing he could do, ‘Leave the premises.’ I said ‘I’m not leaving without you giving me an answer on how to get back to the States.”
“As I turned around, he grabbed me, hit me in the back and pushed me down the steps. There are two witnesses here,” William said, referring to his son and another relative who both nodded their heads in confirmation.
“I said ‘why did you push me? Get your hands off me.’” He managed to break his fall by holding on to the rail of the stairs with the support of his son.
He said that Gouveia appeared unconcerned when he told him that he was going to report the matter to the police as well as highlight it in the media.
“He said ‘Get the F** off my premises.’ He’s powerful.”
Gouveia retreated into his office even as William challenged him to step outside.
This newspaper understands that several Dynamic Airways passengers were left stranded at the JFK International Airport in New York over the weekend after the aircraft encountered difficulties.
Earlier this year Dynamic Airways got off on the wrong foot with their direct flight from Timehri to New York, when they were barred from landing at JFK.
Several passengers demanded refunds when the airlines temporarily halted operations.
After sorting out their problems, the airline resumed flights only to suffer more problems that have once again caused passengers a lot on inconvenience.
“What they are doing is wrong. I came here for a funeral, not a vacation. I should have been on my job (Monday), now it looks like I can’t be on the job (Tuesday), because they haven’t even given me an answer when the flight will be coming,” William said.
He subsequently sought an audience with ‘A’ Division Commander Clifton Hicken who referred him to the Alberttown Police Station where he gave a statement.
The police had assured him that they will be seeking out Gouveia for his side of the story.
Efforts by this newspaper to reach Gouveia were futile.
“Now as a big Executive for a company, why would he want to assault somebody? Even if I’m angry, I have a right to be angry because I am stranded here. I did not touch him,” William declared.
William, who is an American citizen, intends to lodge a formal complaint about the assault with the local US Embassy today.
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