In what appears to be the copycatting of a vigilante killing in Sophia on Wednesday morning, a man accused of theft was beaten to death and a young woman injured, by 12 men in Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Berbice yesterday morning.
Dead is Alfred Monroe, 45, called “Ginne” and “Guana Man” of Ulverston Village, Corentyne and Persaud Street, Rose Hall Town. The injured woman, Annie Persaud called “Short Hair”, 23, of Rose Hall Town, was taken to the Port Mourant Hospital, where she was treated and then released into police custody.
According to reports, a gang of 12 young men armed with steel bars, pieces of wood and cutlasses brutally beat Monroe who they accused of stealing from the clothing store Priceless Boutique in Port Mourant. The man later succumbed at the Port Mourant Hospital while receiving treatment.
Additionally, before the angry mob caught Monroe, they brutalised Persaud. A police press release indicated, “At about 07:30 hrs, while police ranks were investigating a report of break and enter and larceny committed on a [clothing] store… information was received that persons, including alleged relatives of the victim, were beating a man and a woman whom they suspected had committed the act.”
The release said the police subsequently intercepted the vehicle at Williamsburg, Corentyne, and found Munroe, and Persaud in the trunk tied with rope and with visible injuries about their bodies.
Police said five persons including the proprietor of Priceless Boutique are in custody assisting with investigations.
An eyewitness, Babita, told this publication that around 7 am yesterday, Monroe was at her residence when several men gained access to her yard by jumping over the fence. She said Monroe asked, “Who deh in de yard deh?” But instead of responding the men tried to arrest Monroe.
The woman said one of the men approached Monroe and told him to exit the yard and when he did not comply, hit him on the right side of his neck with an iron bar. Another man then approached with a cutlass and started to thrash him causing him to collapse.
The men then dragged the deceased out of her yard even as she urged them to leave him alone. She said she asked why they were beating him and they told her she cannot know. The woman said she then begged them to alert the police, but the gang dismissed her.
Babita said Monroe also asked the men why he was being beaten, but received no answer. She said he was dragged away while sustaining severe blows and chops.
On the road, other residents urged the men to leave the man alone but they were ignored.
Monroe was then forced into the trunk of a silver Toyota 212, licence number, PNN 7227. The woman said she thought they were taking him to the police station, but the car turned and headed to Port Mourant instead.
A male neighbour said that when he asked the gang why they were beating Monroe, he was told “Short Hair call his name in ah break and enter of a clothing store.” The man said when he asked where ‘Short Hair’ was and was told she was in the lock-up. However, the man said, as it transpired, the injured woman was already in the said car trunk.
Meanwhile, scores of residents gathered outside the Rose Hall Town police outpost and many vented their dissatisfaction over what had occurred.
“Na because yuh does thief it mean they have to beat yuh suh,” one villager said.
It was indicated that the man had been in trouble with the law for petty larceny.
Monroe was observed with blood oozing from his mouth, foot and head. The man made several calls for water to drink and was given some by his son. Persaud, meanwhile, was holding her belly, crying out for pain and breathing heavily.
The injured victims were subsequently taken to the hospital by lawmen where Monroe drew his last breath.
At the home of Monroe’s family his mother was in shock.
His sister, Marietta Monroe, said that around 8.45 am they received a call from the Rose Hall outpost. She said the caller told them that some guys had beaten her brother over a break and enter.
Marietta said when the police asked about the stolen articles the persons were unable to produce them.
She lamented that when they arrived at the hospital they were unable to see him, until after he was pronounced dead. She said she noticed that her brother’s head had a hole in the temple.
She described him as a quiet person who would be in the street. The last time the family saw him was a week ago.
The distraught sister questioned why the accusers did not take her brother to the police immediately. She called on the relevant authorities to ensure justice was served.
Meanwhile, residents of Rose Hall said Monroe was a peaceful person, who would normally respect others. They said he was more likely to take fruit from trees than be involved in any high-profile criminal act. He also earned an income fetching goods, chopping grass and doing other odd jobs.
Monroe leaves to mourn his mother and father, 15 siblings, two sons and a daughter. His body is at Ramoo’s Funeral Home awaiting an autopsy.
According to Cindy [only name given], around 5.30 am, the owner of the boutique discovered the glass door along with the grill had been opened and the entire store was empty.
Cindy explained the store sells brand name clothing imported from overseas. She said the stock included more than 100 jerseys from the brands like Armani Exchange, American Eagle and Polo; Victoria Secret products were also stolen.
She said it was not clear how the burglars gained entry to the store but a hinge on the door was broken and the wood the hinge was on was damaged as well. She was unable to state the cost of the losses.
Meanwhile, the police issued a statement warning against vigilante justice. Noting that it is against the law, the police said “persons found culpable will be dealt with severely according to law”. Members of the public who apprehend persons suspected of having committed unlawful acts are to hand them over to the police and not take the law into their own hands.