A man, described as being of an unsound mind, was on Tuesday evening beaten to death by villagers at Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, after he attacked a policeman with a cutlass.
Police yesterday identified the dead man as Jermaine Hamilton, 37, for whom no address was given.
In a statement, police said the police rank was walking along Canterbury Walk, at Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, when he was attacked by Hamilton, who was armed with a cutlass and a knife.
“Residents responded and went to the assistance of the policeman during which the man received injuries,” police said, noting that he was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
A hospital official told this newspaper that the man appeared to have suffered fatal head injuries and abrasions about his chest and thighs.
Meanwhile when Stabroek News visited the area yesterday afternoon, villagers denied knowledge of the incident.
A group of persons, who denied knowledge of what occurred, identified a location where the incident may have happened.
But when this newspaper asked persons about the beating, they said they had no idea of any beating at the location.
The police have since launched an investigation into the man’s death.
The issue of mentally unstable persons roaming the streets came into focus late last year after three attacks.
In December, Kevin Layne was stabbed by a mentally unstable man while he was walking along Wellington Street on his way to the Astor Cinema, while in November a Brickdam Secondary School student had to be rushed to hospital after he was hit in the head by a mentally unstable man as he was walking in the Stabroek Market area.
In May, Walter Sankar, a US citizen, died several days after he was severely beaten with a galvanised pipe by an unstable man.
Asked about the situation, Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran said last month that a multi-agency approach was needed to address the problem, while noting that his ministry was seeking to ensure that primary healthcare workers were trained to diagnose mentally ill persons during the early stages of illness.
Although the issue has been on the government’s agenda for many years, Ramsaran called it a complex one that requires the involvement of various stakeholders, including ministries, the private sector and the media.