Acid burnt businessman discharges self from hospital

A day after being hospitalised with suspected acid burns to his forehead and upper body, Linden businessman James Steele was back on the street.

Steele, who was seen midmorning on Monday liming and chatting not far from the bar he operates on Republic Avenue, took self-discharge from the Linden Hospital Complex earlier in the day, Stabroek News was told.

Sources said Steele, popularly known as “Chicken,” had been badly burnt with acid by a woman who threw the liquid at him during a heated argument around midday on Sunday.

The sources said Steele, the proprietor of “Chicken Bar”, was fortunate that it was a “light acid.” According to one source, “he get wet with battery acid.”

Meanwhile, the owner of a nearby bread and breakfast service accused police of invading his property in search of the suspect. The man, who asked not to be named, said he was downstairs when he heard footsteps in the upper storey of his building. Upon checking, he saw a female plain clothes police officer, a corporal and a male police officer with a big gun.

The proprietor said that he asked them what they were doing in the building and was told that they were informed that the person who threw the acid on “Chicken” was staying at the property. The owner said that he asked the police what was the procedure for entering a private property and he was told that the police had the power to enter any property. The owner then told the police that had he been upstairs, he would not allow them to enter his building, to which the police responded that he could be charged for obstructing the police. He added that after some more exchanges, the police apologised and left.

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