T&T vigilante victim dies, residents realise error

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(Trinidad Guardian) Oropune residents are now said to be showing genuine regret, remorse and sadness for the man they badly beat last week, after they claimed he attempted to lure a five-year-old girl away from a nearby playground.

Ashdale Mc Hutchinson

Victim Ashdale Mc Hutchinson, 49, died at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, at about 11 am on Sunday.

Mc Hutchinson, who lived at Bon Air Gardens, Arouca, with his mother Jeannette, was visiting his sister Anika and cousin Mario in Oropune Gardens last Wednesday, when he was confronted by a mob of residents. They severely beat him and subsequently hog-tied him before calling the police. Mc Hutchinson was hospitalised since the attack and never regained consciousness.

His sisters Anika, Alisa and Amanda were all overwhelmed with inconsolable grief while at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for his autopsy yesterday.

“They didn’t have to tie my brother like a hog and kill him just so…for nothing. How could these people live with themselves now?” Anika said.

Mc Hutchinson’s cousin Mario said he invited him over to his house on Wednesday for the Indian Arrival Day holiday so that he could “eat roti and relax.” He said he left to go to a nearby parlour to purchase a cigarette.

“I was told that he went to the parlour and got none so he must have went somewhere else and I feel that was when he got lost,” Mario told the T&T Guardian.

“I was told that he came across the playground and some children were selling chow and he bought out all the chow and gave it away because that is how he was. He was a kind and generous person.”

In a video of the incident that went viral, moments after Mc Hutchinson was smoked out from nearby bushes and badly beaten by the residents, he was heard begging for his life. The residents had accused him of attempting to lure the child by calling her “cousin” but in the video he tried to defend himself, saying he would usually refer to people he would meet as family.

Sister Amanda confirmed his usually good-natured greeting to the T&T Guardian yesterday.

“I know my brother, he meant no harm. He was not a vagrant or piper. He worked very hard for his money at the Macoya Market. He was the sole breadwinner at home too. He took care of his mother,” Amanda said.

Anika also said her brother was robbed, adding she did not believe the alleged paedophile theory being used by the residents to justify the beating.

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