Youth rescued from pig pen for psychiatric evaluation

Gopaul Etwaroo, the 22-year-old man who was recently rescued from the pig pen in which he was held captive, has been discharged from hospital but will undergo a psychiatric evaluation tomorrow.

The young man, who was described as mentally ill by his stepmother, was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital for medical evaluation on Friday following the rescue, which was spearheaded by the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) based on an anonymous tip.

The youth was found naked in a space that was too low for him to stand. He had access to a trough to relieve himself, a bench constructed from wooden planks was his bed and he ate from recycled bleach bottles.

The police were also involved in the rescue mission and later arrested the youth’s father, Clement Etwaroo, and stepmother, Parbattie Sukhu.

GWMO president Urica Primus told Sunday Stabroek yesterday that the younger Etwaroo was released from the hospital at around 1 am yesterday, since he was found to be “medically well but dehydrated and a bit anaemic.”

“They gave him multivitamins and for the back pains Panadol,” Primus explained, before adding that Etwaroo was referred for a psychological examination, which he will undergo tomorrow as the department is not open on weekends.

In the interim, the GWMO has assumed responsibility for the young man and is paying for him to be housed at a home for differently-abled adults in Georgetown.

“The good thing is that they haven’t housed him with anyone else, so he has a one-on-one nurse,” Primus related. Primus also explained that she and other members of the GWMO were spending the evening with Etwaroo since “he gets anxious when it gets dark.”

“He is doing much better—partially communicating with people as he has a limited attention span. You can ask him four or five questions and he will answer but you have to wait like half an hour before you can ask him again. He remembers when he was born, the year and month but not date…knows where he was and where he grew up. We are investigating the allegation made by stepmother about him going to secondary school…. He is only talking about primary school and the neighbours said they haven’t seen him for about ten years,” Primus related.

Meanwhile, up to Friday evening, the man’s parents remained in custody. Primus said is scheduled to meet with the police again on Monday about the case.

The Ministry of Social Protection, meanwhile, appears to be absent from the process as Primus noted the social worker who was present at the GPH conducted an assessment and left.

“We haven’t heard from Social Protection but we know they will have to be involved,” she stated.

For at least three years, based on his stepmother’s account, Etwaroo had been kept by his father in the pen at their Lot 23 Block ‘R,’ North Sophia home.

Sukhu told reporters that he had been placed in the enclosure after he began destroying property.

A neighbour told this newspaper that Gopaul had been the victim of violence after he began “jumping fences and taking people thing.”

“He would be around the area and people would beat him. People would lash him. One time somebody lash him in his back because he would jump people fence and yard because he’s not righted and so his father keep him home,” the neighbour related.

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