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The suspected bandit, who was allegedly disarmed and beaten by patrons of a bar/shop during an attempted robbery in Girard, Cacao, Babonneau on Sunday morning, is no longer at Victoria Hospital and he is not in police custody either.
Reports are that the suspect, who was brought to the hospital in serious condition but was later stabilised, was discharged from the hospital yesterday morning (April 19).
In addition, the suspect, even if caught, may not be officially arrested, more so charged because to date there are no statements from the witnesses for the attempted robbery, according to reliable sources.
“It’s not lawful unless you have evidence,” one source said, adding that the witnesses may not be willing to give statements because of their suspected involvement in the beating. Vigilante justice is illegal.
St. Lucia News Online (SNO) understands that senior officers at the Babonneau Police Station, the arresting station, are very upset at this development.
However, one of the senior cops told SNO that they are confident of finding the suspect.
“We will get him don’t you worry,” the officer said.
A reliable source told SNO that the suspect was officially never in police custody.
“He left the hospital and is on his merry way. Apparently he wasn’t being monitored. He was never under police watch apparently. You can’t escape if you’re never in custody. He’s not at VH (Victoria Hospital) and not in custody so do the math,” the source said.
The source noted that the suspect was “discharged properly” from the hospital.
“There was medically no reason to keep him,” the source added.
According to an ealier report, the Babonneau Police Station was alerted about the incident around 1 a.m. on Sunday and officers proceeded to the scene where they apprehended “one of the assailants”.
Police said the officers observed that the suspect had bruises all over his body and he was transported to hospital.
The suspect was expected to be charged following his release from hospital.
Police has said that they were searching for two other persons suspected to have been involved in the crime.
It is believed that the other two persons were in a car that transported the captured suspect to the business place. The car reportedly drove off after their alleged accomplice was caught.
A relative of the shop owner, who prefered to remain anonymous, had told St. Lucia News Online that the business community has been suffering because of a number of armed robberies.
“We want the public to know because that is not the first time they are coming and rob people in the area,” she said. “Because we have a lady higher up the road, she has a shop. And the lady willing to close her shop because they robbed her once last year and two times for the year already, at gunpoint and with mask.”
Commenting on the incident, the relative added: “So he (the alleged gunman) came in, he burst a shot, and he ask them to ‘pass it’, he asked my uncle to ‘pass it’ so my uncle moved fast and think fast,” the relative explained. “So he tell him he don’t have money … he (the gunman) end up going on the other side where the fellas gambling, then my uncle rush outside and close the door and prevented him from going outside. And that’s how my uncle was able to take the gun from him and then they start giving him licks.”
By the time the suspect was handed over to the police, he was bleeding profusely and required immediate attention.
“The people in the area made him talk,” the relative noted.