T&T teen killed after intervening to protect woman from physical abuse by lover

David Sancaro

(Trinidad Guardian) When 17-year-old David Sancaro rushed to a bar to protect a woman he didn’t even know from physical abuse being meted out by her enraged lover on Sunday, little did he know his gallantry would have cost him his life.

David Sancaro

After his valiant attempt to temper the situation, the abuser turned on Sancaro moments afterwards. Using his Ford Ranger pick-up as a weapon, the 38-year-old South Oropouche man ploughed into the young boy and then reversed the heavy vehicle on him.

As the attacker attempted to roll over Sancaro for another time, his friends started pelting the pick-up with stones, causing the driver to flee straight to the Oropouche Police Station, where he is still detained.

Sancaro died hours later at the San Fernando General Hospital.

The incident began around 9 pm when Sancaro, of St Mary’s Village, South Oropouche, was liming along the Southern Main Road, Otaheite, with friends Stephen Tannis, 22 and Kadeem Elliot, 14, both of Fyzabad. While liming, the group observed the suspect and his girlfriend having a heated argument. Witnesses said the man became violent and the boys rushed over to defend the woman by talking to the suspect. However, the enraged man allegedly picked up a cutlass and chased the boys. The boys ran off and the suspect got into his pick-up and chased them along the Southern Main Road.

Knowing they could not outrun the pick-up, Tannis and Elliot ran onto the slope of an adjacent drain. But Sancaro, who recently underwent surgery to remove an abscess, could not keep up. Witnesses said Sancaro was first knocked over before the suspect reversed over his body. The suspect then drove off and later reported the incident to the Oropouche police.

Paramedics who arrived on the scene attempted to resuscitate Sancaro before taking him to the SFGH, where he died while receiving treatment. Both Tannis and Elliot were assisting police with investigations yesterday.

In an interview outside her home, Tannis’ mother, Joanne Tannis, said Sancaro lived with her family for six years and was considered a son to her. She said Tannis called her on Sunday night with the harrowing news, “Mammy, David is dying you know.”

Relating the account she got from Tannis, Joanne said Sancaro saw the suspect hitting the woman and went across to talk to him. She said the suspect became angry and pushed David.

“They were talking peacefully, but the fella did not like that. He pushed David and David pushed him back, so the fella ran and took up a blade, and that was when my son stepped in, slapped him (suspect) and the blade fell. The fella did not like that so he went to his van and shouted ‘I coming back for allyuh’ and he really did,” Joanne said.

She said while the boys were running Sancaro attempted to climb a wall, but couldn’t because of his surgical wound and ran back to the road and was knocked over. As the driver attempted to roll over Sancaro again, his friends began throwing stones at the pick-up.

“Tell me what kind of human being is that? Don’t tell me it was because of alcohol in you, you can’t be that ignorant.”

Sancaro’s stepfather Junior Andrews said he had urged his stepson to stay off the road several times. Andrews said when he reached home from work on Sunday and asked for his stepson, he was told Sancaro had gone to a “function” in Fyzabad. He said Sancaro’s brother took him to Fyzabad so they believed he was there. It was around 10 pm that someone came to his gate and told him Sancaro saw a man beating his wife and intervened.

Although Sancaro was killed while attempting to rescue someone, Andrews said it was dangerous to be a peacemaker.

“Helping people now is a risk because you can see certain things and get licked down for seeing those things. Talking now is also a risk, we have to face facts,” Andrews said.

He said Sancaro recently got a job as a welder but could not begin this week because of the surgery.




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