An Arima man was beaten and left for dead near the Aripo River, after a gunman pounced on him and a woman as they sat in a vehicle on Saturday.
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Nieces, nephews traumatised
The 12-year-old nephew of Ashdale Mc Hutchinson, who died after an attack by a vigilante mob in Oropune, was sent back home from school on Monday and also kept at home yesterday, as he is said to be having a hard time dealing with his uncle’s death.
His mother - Mc Hutchinson’s sister Anika - told the T&T Guardian her younger son broke down in tears when he came home.
“He is very traumatised and he just couldn’t stay in school on Monday, he was crying and crying and so uncontrollable with the grief and trauma. I even kept him away from school today (yesterday) and until he can deal with it.”
Anika said she was a single parent to three children and her brother acted as a father to them.
“From baby my 12-year-old was with him right through, that is why he is crying so much. The older one turned 18 years and he is also having a hard time dealing with this. He saw the videos going around and couldn’t look at it because he became very angry over how they treated his uncle.”
Anika said the incident had also left her so afraid and traumatised she had not returned to her Oropune home since the incident, adding she may never return to her house. She admitted she was now thinking about moving into her mother’s place in Lopinot so she can better take care of her entire family now that her brother was gone.
“I am drained. I am afraid for my life. I am too frightened to go back there. My children so traumatised. I too. I have not slept since, neither eaten since…neither my children. My sister’s children in a mess too…nobody could function right now,” she said.
She explained that her eldest son will soon be graduating and was looking forward to his uncle’s attendance.
“Now, we not even sure if he will go through with it. My brother didn’t deserve to go through that, the kind and giving person he was, well loved by all.”
Mc Hutchinson had five siblings, four sisters and a brother, and 15 nephews and nieces.
An autopsy on Mc Hutchinson, 46, at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday found he died of blunt force trauma - his head was beaten as though it was an inanimate object.
Anika and her mother, Jeannette, 70, emerged from the centre “in a state of shock and disbelief.”
“All the kick and cuff they hit my brother on his head, the rope they tied around his neck, he got serious head trauma. This is not easy at all…he just didn’t deserve this,” Anika said.
She claimed the residents attempted to burn her brother to death in the bushes because of the fact that dead men tell no tales, and when he ran out they robbed him and badly beat him instead.
The incident occurred on Wednesday a few minutes away from her home but in close proximity to their cousin Mario’s house, where Mc Hutchinson was invited that day.
Mc Hutchinson was accused of attempting to lure a five-year-old girl away from a nearby playground. He was chased after by Oropune residents and attempted to hide in some bushes, but the residents lit the bushes on fire, causing him to run out. He was then held and badly beaten and hog-tied. Parts of the incident were recorded via cell phones and shared on social media.
DILLON CONDEMNS ACT
Meanwhile, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon said yesterday that Mc Hutchinson’s death was caused by an illegal act and not vigilante justice.
In offering condolences to the family, Dillon said citizens have the power under the Criminal Law Act Chapter 10:04 Section 3 (2) to make a citizen’s arrest, but only if a person is in the act of committing an arrestable or serious offence, or was witnessed committing an offence.
“Anything outside of these parameters would be considered illegal, especially if assault is involved,” Dillon said.
In Mc Hutchinson’s case, Dillon noted that prior to making a citizen’s arrest, law enforcement personnel should have been immediately alerted rather than residents resorting to taking the matter into their own hands.
He urged citizens to “respect the rule of law when attempting to execute a citizen’s arrest in accordance with the Criminal Law Act Chapter 10:04 Section 3 (2).”
He also made the call for all citizens to work closely with law enforcement to police their respective communities in an effort to reduce crime and lawlessness.
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