WBD assault: Claims of vigilantism erroneous- Police

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Following media reports that two men – Dameon Gordon and Vernon Beckles – were victims of vigilantism, the Police have asserted otherwise as they continue their investigations.

The two men were reportedly assaulted on Sunday evening, along the Canal Number One Polder, West Bank Demerara WBD, access road after they were allegedly caught stealing the mirrors from a car belonging to a resident in the community.

Dameion Gordon and Vernon Beckles
Dameion Gordon and Vernon Beckles

Police said that while several persons were questioned in connection with the incident, no one was arrested.

It was explained that on the night in question, Gordon and Beckles travelled to the home of Ewart Lewis, a member of the Guyana Defence Force, who lives at Two Brothers, Canal No. 1 Polder, WBD, by an in-law of Lewis’ reputed wife.

Later, whilst at Ewart’s place, the Ewart family and the victims (Gordon and Beckles) decided to venture to Georgetown to seek further entertainment and while doing so, stopped at a shop at Two Brothers, where Ewart, his reputed wife and her in-law went into the shop leaving the two victims on the Public Road.
Inews was told that a short while after, one of the victims was seen “fighting up” with a mirror and the owner of the car went to check. As he approached the car, he realised that both of his mirrors were missing.
This publication was told that the owner of the car looked around he saw Beckles and Gordon stooping down close to another vehicle and thought that something was amiss.
According to the Police, Ewart Lewis claimed that while at the shop in Canal, a resident (name given) ran into the shop and shouted saying that two men were stealing the mirrors from his motor car and shortly after another resident (name given) told him that the men who stole the mirrors were the men he brought in his car.
Immediately after, several persons in the vicinity swarmed the two men and began questioning them and during this period (Gordon) fled and jumped into the canal and both of them denied stealing the mirrors.
The rearview mirrors belonging to the vehicle where the two victims were seen standing, were later found by Ewart Lewis, under another vehicle which was parked in close proximity of the vehicle of which they were stolen from.
Whilst in the trench, the alleged irate residents threw bricks and other objects at Gordon, while the other was detained by residents.
A Rural Constable from the area took initial action and pleaded with Gordon to come out but he refused; by this time the police patrol arrived and Gordon came out of the canal.

They were taken into custody and subsequently escorted to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where they were treated and sent away.

The Guyana Police Force in a statement issued caution to those “media houses which rush to publicize episodes given to them but which later turned out to be exceedingly erroneous.”
The Force also said that “connotations of vigilantism were published in certain sections of the media but which are unsubstantiated based on statements obtained from members of the public, some of whom were involved in this incident on the day in question.”
According to the Police “it is not the first time that persons who are suspected of having committed an offence invoke the wrath of members of the public and while we frown and warn against these behaviors as being unacceptable, the reality is that one cannot necessarily immediately determine what a spontaneous action will be.”

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