Employee was shot defending Lambert’s during robbery attempt

– supervisor says

Richard Barton, the man shot during a robbery at Lambert’s Enterprise last weekend, was not involved in the crime and was trying to fight off the man who invaded the premises, according to a supervisor at the business place.

Richard Barton

Police who responded to the report of a robbery at the Charlotte Street business place had initially detained Barton, handcuffing him and throwing him at the back of a vehicle while pursuing the man they believed was his accomplice. However, Barton was later cleared of any involvement.

Barton sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen and is currently at the High Dependency Ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital. His condition has been listed as stable, but a bullet which punctured his lung remains lodged there and doctors have advised the family that an operation would be risky at this time based on where the bullet is.

Details of the robbery and the circumstances under which Barton was shot remained sketchy on Saturday last, but there were reports that two men had attempted to rob Lambert’s Enterprises and the robbery was botched. Two men were later removed from the building -, Barton and another man who was overheard saying that he was set up. Barton was transported to hospital by police and remained in handcuffed at the medical facility. It was only after the intervention of persons at Lambert’s Enterprises that the handcuffs were removed.

Kyle Lambert of Lambert’s Enterprises told Stabroek News yesterday that there was some confusion on Saturday last following the attempted robbery. He said the confusion resulted in Barton being initially mistaken as someone involved in the robbery. “The police handcuffed him and had he in the vehicle, but I later went out to tell them he was not involved,” Lambert said. He said the police briefly removed the handcuffs, but later replaced the handcuffs on Barton.

Lambert explained that one of their employees, who was on sick leave, showed up at the business place under the pretext he wanted to uplift an ID card from the premises. He said the man was allowed in to search the building and Barton was asked to check on him. Barton went in search of the man, identified by police as Arone Persaud, 21.

Persaud attempted to rob the place, according to Lambert and when Barton defended the business after he realized what Persaud was doing, he was shot.

“He stood up for us and even after he was shot he fought with Persaud,” Lambert related. He said Persaud managed to flee the building and was later caught in an alleyway nearby with an unlicensed gun.

Police said the gun recovered was a .32 pistol with eight matching rounds. Persaud is currently at the public hospital being treated for a broken limb. He leapt from the three-storey building in his attempt to escape and injured his leg.

Lambert said yesterday that Persaud had been on the job for a short while but was off a week prior to the robbery because he had complained of feeling unwell. He said Persaud was advised to visit a doctor and to report for work when he was feeling better. It was during Persaud’s absence that Barton was hired. He said the whole episode was a bit strange and he still has questions surrounding whether Persaud had turned up to rob the place.

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