Corentyne business owners hospitalized after bandit attack

– had to jump from veranda

– one person in custody

A Number 73 Village, Corentyne shop owner and his wife were injured and admitted to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital yesterday morning, after bandits launched an attack on them around 2 am.

Commander of ‘B’ Division Ian Amsterdam confirmed that one person has since been taken into custody and is assisting with the investigation.

A police source close to the investigation told Stabroek News that the person in custody is from the Number 71 Village, Corentyne, and is known to the businessman and his family.

The interior door that was broken open
The window through which the bandits gained entry to the Harolds’ house

Rakesh Bisham Harold, also known as ‘Anil’, 42, is nursing pellet wounds about his body, while his wife Nadeera Harold, 40, sustained a fractured ankle and severe back injury. The Harolds operate a grocery and liquor store at their home in Number 73 Village, Corentyne.

The couple’s son Andrew Harold also known as ‘Brandon,’ 19, told Stabroek News that he was sleeping in the living room located in the lower flat of the house, when he heard “banging coming from the window.”

He said, “When I look at the window I just see a set of things pitch in and I get up and run in the room.” According to the young man, his mother and father were asleep in a downstairs bedroom and he awakened them and informed them that bandits were attempting to break into their house. They all then ran upstairs and closed the door leading to the interior staircase.

“By time we reach up we run in the room and we hear a set a banging. They were already in the house and they started to break the step door, it take them like five minutes to break. Them start to shoot the step door to make a hole to turn open the lock,” he related.

Harold noted that the perpetrators who were armed with regular and pellet guns also carried a piece of wood, which they used to break the window and remove the grill in order to enter the house.

He said that as the bandits broke open the staircase door, he and his parents searched for the key to the veranda door so they could escape. “My dad find the key and we open the door. Me jump first, me land on the fence and jump over, then my mother jump same side,” he said. However, he said his mother landed badly, injuring herself in the process. “I pull she on the people them concrete and hide she next to the stairs,” he said.

He said his father jumped over the other end of the veranda, by which time the bandits were already upstairs and they opened fire in an attempt to halt his escape. The senior Harold was hit with 15 pellets about his body.

Harold said that at no point in time did they come into close contact with the perpetrators, hence they did not see if they were masked or not.

He said he began running up the road to call for help. “When I was two houses away, I reach my dad. He tell me he got shot. I tell him we got to run more,” he added.

They then got to the home of a resident, who was awake from the commotion and immediately telephoned the Springlands Police Station. Twenty minutes later, the police were nowhere in sight and he called them again, he said. This time, they informed him that they were at “NIS turn coming”. But more time passed and there was still no sign of the lawmen, so he called a relative, who came and collected his injured father and took him to the police station. “When them go station no police didn’t left the station as yet,” he said.

Harold said he also telephoned the neighbour and woke them up to tell them that his mother was hiding under their stairs, pleading with them to assist her, which they did.

The bandits escaped with a small amount of phone cards, a cellular phone and an undisclosed sum of cash.

Stabroek News visited the house, which had been thoroughly ransacked.

Meanwhile, the teen noted, that last Wednesday he had noticed a strange car turning on their bridge a few times, while two men in the back seat were peeping into the shop.

Investigations are ongoing.