Thorough probe launched into incident at Hopetown – Police

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The car that was torched during protests at Hopetown

See full statement from the Guyana Police Force:

Commander for Regional Division #5, Assistant Commissioner Mr Kurleigh Simon, has indicated that while the situation is back to normal at Hopetown, West Coast Berbice, a thorough investigation has been launched into all circumstances surrounding the incident there last night.

*A report from Regional Division #5 detail the incidents as follows:*

At around 17:26 hrs yesterday (Sunday), a 19-year-old of Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, went to the Fort Wellington Police Station and reported that a few minutes earlier (about 17:15 hrs), he was driving motor car # PNN 1801 on the Hopetown Public Road, WCB, when two men on pedal cycle rode in front of him, causing him to collide with one of the men. He said that moments later, a crowd gathered at the scene and persons within robbed him of his iPhone Pro Max and one gold chain away.

As a result of the report, a rank uplifted a medical certificate and attempted to escort the teen driver to seek medical attention at the Fort Wellington Public Hospital. As he was about to do so, the teenager’s father, a 43-year-old businessman of Bath Settlement, began verbally abusing the Police.

The teen driver also refused to be escorted to the hospital, instead entering a motor vehicle which drove off.

The Police then left to visit the accident scene at Hopetown. On arrival, it was observed that the mentioned motor car was stationary on the southern footpath facing south with extensive damage to the front. There was no key in the vehicle.

Public-spirited citizens pulled out the vehicle from the said position to be escorted to the Fort Wellington Police Station. However, several angry residents lifted the vehicle back to the southern side of the road and began to damage the vehicle.

The Police at the scene tried to calm the crowd, but several persons began to vandalise the vehicle, and some chanted, “let’s burn the vehicle”.

Police contacted a private tow truck service to take the vehicle to Fort Wellington Police Station. At about 19:00 hrs on Sunday, the tow truck arrived, and whilst loading the motor car (bearing license plate number PNN 1801), several persons tried to prevent the vehicle from being loaded onto the truck.

Superintendent Guy Nurse, ASP Kelly, and a party of police ranks tried to calm the situation. However, the angry residents threw a liquid substance on the motor car and started to throw missiles at the vehicles (motor car PNN 1801 and the tow truck GXX 8069). The crowd became uncontrollable and damaged the front windshield of the tow truck (a motor Lorry), the side glass and other parts of the vehicle, and then they set fire to motor car #PNN 1801.

The tow truck driver entered his vehicle and drove east along the said road, leaving motor car number PNN 1801 ablaze.

The Guyana Fire Service was contacted, and Fire Tender #97 arrived at the scene and extinguished the fire.

Motor car number PNN 1801 was later towed to the Fort Wellington Police Station.

Also, one electrical cycle was escorted to Fort Wellington Police Station and lodged, along with a pedal cycle.

Information received that the two cyclists — a 22-year-old, who is a serving member of the Guyana Defense Force, and a 14-year-old pedal cyclist, were taken to Fort Wellington Public Hospital, where they were both seen and examined by a doctor on duty. The 14-year-old was treated and sent away. The 22-year-old was referred to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, where he was further seen and examined by a doctor on duty. He was admitted as a patient in the said institution suffering from injuries to his head and body. His condition is regarded as stable.

The investigation is ongoing.