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TTPS condemns vigilante justice

Published: 
Saturday, June 2, 2018

The T&T Police Service (TTPS) yesterday condemned the excessive use of force by citizens against a suspected paedophile in Oropune Gardens on Wednesday.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian, public affairs officer, ASP Michael Jackman said vigilante justice is a serious matter.

“The Police Service does not condone any use of force beyond that which is reasonably necessary in apprehending and detaining a person suspected of having committed, or being in the act of committing an arrestable/serious offence,” Jackman said.

“The same standard of accountability exists for law enforcement personnel as it pertains to our Use of Force Policy.”

His comment came even as the suspect remained hospitalised in critical condition last night following a severe beating at the hands of the residents.

Investigators are also calling on Oropune residents to go to the Arouca Police Station to record official statements on what may have transpired.

It was reported that at about 9 pm on Wednesday, officers of the Arouca station received a report of a wounded man lying on a road in the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) community in Piarco.

Police said hours before they arrived the man was involved in an incident with a six-year-old girl from the community. The child was reportedly walking with a group of her friends when the man attempted to lure her towards him.

“Come baby come. You are my cousin,” he reportedly said.

The girl instead ran home and reported the incident to her mother, who later found the man and confronted him.

The man is said to have run into a bushy area to hide. But the mother notified neighbours, who came to her assistance and lit a fire in the bushy area in an attempt to “smoke out” the man from his hiding place.

The plan worked and the man reportedly ran straight towards the mob of residents. He was then severely beaten and left at the side of the road until residents decided to contact police.

Yesterday, however, someone who claimed to know the suspect “very well” denied the suspect was making any sexual advances at the little girl.

The man also defended the suspect’s decision to take to social media to comment on the images of him following the beating that were released.

“It is so funny how people that know the least tend to always talk the most. This is an innocent man, his only crime is being too friendly to adults or children.

“This man was just at my house, a house full of children and took my baby for a walk a minute before this happened,” the man wrote on social media in response to the chain of comments connected to the images.

“And I am sure a lot of people would of seen him. All he told this child was am your big cuz (cousin) laughing, he always makes jokes nothing more.

“ So because nobody knew him from the area and he talk to a child he must be a rapist smh.”

Investigations are continuing.

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