A man who escaped from the Mazaruni Prison in December last year by jumping the fence continues to evade capture by law enforcement authorities more than a month later.
The escapee has since returned to his home community of Bethany Village, Essequibo where he is reportedly wreaking havoc.
This escape represents the third of its kind from the prison in the last thirteen months and it brings the total number of prisoners on the loose in the Essequibo area to four.
Director of Prisons Dale Erskine told Stabroek News yesterday that Ronald Daniels called `Black Boy’ escaped from the prison on December 12 last year. According to Erskine, Daniels was working in the prison kitchen when he jumped the fence and managed to stage a successful escape.
The prison head informed this newspaper that the escapee had been serving a two-year sentence for break and enter and larceny some time in 2005.
Erskine told this newspaper that there had been reports that the wanted man was hiding in the village but after a day of searches he had not been found.
He said that persons in the village had reported that they had been seeing the escapee, and the hunt was still on for him.
Stabroek News managed to contact a resident in the community who said that the convict currently resided in the community and shared a home with someone close to him, and so he was seen almost on a daily basis.
“Just because people know that the man is around, the community is now in fear and children especially are afraid to walk alone in our community, which used to be so peaceful and free,” the resident said.
As a result he said many children stayed home from school out of fear.
The resident told this newspaper too that Daniels had continued to steal property from a number of residents and alleged that it was only on Sunday that a brush cutter, a television set and a cellular phone had been stolen.
He said that about two weeks ago a laptop computer had been stolen from some people in the village. “He does just go in people farm and chop out all they produce just because he want play bad and because he know that people frighten he,” the man said.
The resident also told this newspaper that some officers from the prison had gone into the community about a week ago and had tried their best to capture Daniels but were unsuccessful although they had spent an entire night.
But he said he had never heard of any occasion when the escapee physically abused or assaulted anyone in the community; it was just that the man was in the habit of stealing.
The villager told Stabroek News too that there was word in the community that another escapee from a former break-out from the Mazaruni was also hiding out in the nearby village of Mashabo. He said residents in that community were also living in fear.
A little over a year ago in November 2005, five prisoners escaped from the prison after ripping out wooden bars on their cell doors and cutting the chainlink fence of the compound. Anthony Macey, Otis Daniels, Harry Holder, Alvin Samaroo and Walter Ronald Wong managed to escape although they were not in possession of any guns or dangerous weapons. One of the men had been serving time for manslaughter, while the others were serving sentences for drug possession as well as larceny offences. Within days, all of the men were recaptured. One of the men made it to Riverview, Goshen, Essequibo River after stealing clothing to change his appearance and taking a boat at Karau. Another escapee was caught at the New Amsterdam ferry stelling where he was going to board the late ferry. It is believed the man was dropped off at Bartica by his accomplices from where he got transportation that set him on his course for Berbice.
Two Fridays ago nine more prisoners escaped and members of the joint services have so far managed to recapture six of them.
The groups of convicts were confronted last Monday while walking along the Karau Trail, Bartica. During the confrontation the men tried to escape as a result of which they were shot at. Trevor McLean called ‘Footprint,’ Anil Sanichar, Royston Reid called ‘Knuckles’ and Alvin Shivnarine eventually surrendered and the others fled further into the bush.
A fifth escapee, Asrudeen Khan called ‘Rocky,’ was nabbed on Wednesday after he stopped a boat captain in the vicinity of Kamayra and requested a drop. After the captain questioned him closely, Khan admitted that the police were looking for him.
A sixth Mazaruni Prison escapee, Dhineshwar Sooklall of Wakenaam, was re-captured the following day by the Joint Services.
Sooklall was apprehended at an abandoned house at Karau at around 8.15 am. He is serving a sentence for manslaughter. (Zoisa Fraser and Heppilena Ferguson)