Cops probing parking lot clash between minister, guards

The police are investigating claims by Junior Minister of Natural Resources Simona Broomes that she and her driver were verbally abused and threatened by two security guards at a Providence, East Bank Demerara business place.

The two guards are attached to KGM Security Services, the firm that provides security for the property at Providence that houses the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant, the Massy Supermarket and the Fitness 53 Gym. They were both arrested and later released on self-bail.

The altercation occurred around 8.30 pm on Sunday, after Broomes’ driver attempted to move a no parking sign in order to park their vehicle.

Stabroek News was told that the minister reportedly told police that one of the guards became verbally abusive towards them and continued even after she identified herself as a Minister of Government and stated her intention to purchase food from the restaurant.

In a brief statement issued yesterday, the Guyana Police Force said “a thorough investigation” had been launched following allegations of abuse and threats against a minister and her driver. It did not name Broomes. “Initial enquiries reveal that both parties seemed to have been very aggressive,” the statement said, before adding that the two security guards were arrested and later released on their own recognizance.

Attempts to contact KGM Security for a comment proved futile, while Broomes, when contacted yesterday evening, said she did not wish to comment on the events that took place. She, however, added that she was disappointed that the police would go ahead and issue a press statement, particularly since they had not yet taken a written statement from her.

Stabroek News understands that the surveillance footage from the Massy Supermarket, which is housed in the lower flat of the building was being reviewed by investigators.

Clips from the surveillance footage were shared by online news site News Room. The footage showed the minister’s vehicle turning into the parking lot and stopping just a few feet away from the entrance to the Massy Supermarket. A man, who appeared to be the driver of the vehicle, exited, and removed what appeared to be a no parking sign before venturing back into the vehicle. This caught the attention of the two guards, who were seen standing a short distance away.

One of the guards, who was armed with what appeared to be a high-powered rifle, ventured over to the vehicle and proceeded to return the sign to the space it had been moved from. As a result, the driver of the vehicle exited and had an exchange with the guard.

Not long after, a woman, believed to be the Junior Minister, exited the back of the vehicle and proceeded to push two of the no parking signs to the ground before engaging in a confrontation with the guard, who stood in front of the vehicle while the driver attempted to proceed as the signs had been removed.

Neither of the clips showed whether either of the two guards pointed a gun at the minister or her driver.