On Monday evening, 73-year-old Rudolph Moonsammy was battered to the head and chopped by a drunken employee. After the attack he lapsed into a state of unconsciousness and finally succumbed to his wounds early yesterday morning.
Moonsammy, a retiree with a passion for fishing, lived alone in his Lot 3 St. Lawrence, East Bank Essequibo home where he overlooked the operations of a poultry farm. The accused employee is currently in police custody and is expected to be charged shortly.
The farm is owned by his US-based son Roy Madraymootoo and is located behind Moonsammy’s home on a stretch of land which extends to the Essequibo River. Madraymootoo, speaking with Stabroek News yesterday afternoon, said the farm was established less than a year ago. His father managed the farm and its employees who were housed on the compound.
“I recently arrived here after I learnt of what happened to my father,” Madraymootoo said, “and I was told that my father attempted to reprimand [name of accused employee] and was attacked by the man as a result.”
Shaserie Persaud, another employee, said he and his co-worker had been “drinking” on Monday evening. It was his co-worker’s habit, he said, to misbehave while he was under the influence of alcohol.
“We been drinking together and then he started to cuss up his wife,” Persaud recalled, “and when I tell he about it he run for a cutlass and put it to meh neck and then he chop me on meh shoulder.”
After he was injured, Persaud said, he started to run as fast as he could away from his drunken co-worker. It wasn’t until the police arrived at the farm sometime later that Persaud said he learnt of what had happened.
“I suppose that is de same thing that happen to me happen to he [Moonsammy],” Persaud said. “He mus’ be go and tell [name of accused employee] to stop abusing his wife and then de mad man mus’ be attack he too.”
Persaud believes that if he’d learnt of what had happened to Moonsammy that evening then he would probably be a dead man as well. “If I de know then I woulda go and confront he [his co-worker] about de incident,” Persaud stated.
Meanwhile, Madraymootoo said that his father’s neighbour witnessed the beating and chopping. The neighbour, according to him, was standing out in his yard when he became aware of the attack and saw the employee beating Moonsammy with a piece of wood.
Madraymootoo said that he has since been informed that his father crawled from the track where the employee left him after the attack. The 73-year-old man made it to his bedroom where he was later found unconscious by other neighbours.
The neighbour who witnessed the attack, Madraymootoo said, has since given a statement to police.
Neighbours rushed Moonsammy to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, his son said, where he received immediate medical attention. However, several hours later the man was transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. He was admitted to the High Dependency Unit and then shifted to the Intensive Care Unit where he died yesterday around 5 am.
“My father lapsed into a state of unconsciousness,” Madraymootoo said, “and he never came to again.”
Doctors, Madraymootoo said, had informed them that his father suffered a fractured skull and it was established that his brain was extensively damaged as well. Despite this, plans were still being made to air-dash Moonsammy to the US for treatment when the news of his death reached relatives.
The accused employee, according to Madraymootoo, was expected to be charged with attempted murder yesterday. However, following Moonsammy’s death the charge will now have to be revised. An autopsy will be conducted on Moonsammy today.
Madraymootoo said that the accused employee had been associated with the family for years. Before the farm was established the man and his wife acted as caretakers for the property when Moonsammy was visiting his family in the US.
Chandra Boodhoo, a resident who was present at Moonsammy’s home when this newspaper visited yesterday, described Moonsammy as a very pleasant and caring man who went out of his way to help others.
“If someone come to this man and tell him that they need a job then he does try to find one for them even if he don’t have one on the farm,” Boodhoo said. “And look at what he get for employing this man despite his faults.”
The employee, according to Boodhoo, had been arrested before for assault. This is not the first time, they alleged, that the man had chopped someone.
Several residents have also spoken out against the behaviour of Moonsammy’s neighbour who they believe could’ve done more to help the man.
“How can you stand there and see a man getting beaten and chopped like that and don’t do nothing about it,” an upset resident questioned. “I think that is sheer cruelty.”
Stabroek News was informed that after the person witnessed the attack on Moonsammy they did nothing immediately to help the injured man. The attack occurred at about 6.30 pm that day and it wasn’t until after 7 pm that others became aware of what had happened.
“This person would’ve seen that injured old man struggling to get in his house even after the attacker left him and still he made no offer to help,” the resident stated.
It was other neighbours who rushed to Moonsammy’s assistance and informed police of the incident.
Moonsammy leaves to mourn his wife, seven children and grandchildren.