Junior Hercules, the coach for the national basketball team, and his family are now traumatised after they were robbed by four men in an early morning attack yesterday.
The four men, two of whom were armed with handguns, were able to force their way through one of the kitchen windows at the family’s Lot 163 Farm Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara home, and then held them up at gunpoint. Hercules himself was bound and gagged.
According to Hercules’ pregnant wife, Kellyann Payne-Hercules, the attack occurred around 3.45 am. At that point, she was in the bedroom on the second floor and she was awakened by two of the men, who she mistook as her husband, who had fallen asleep on the ground floor.
She thought he was finally coming to bed but was surprised when she saw two men wearing masks and gloves in the room. “When I woke, they saw me getting up and they came to me. One was armed with a handgun. And they kept asking, ‘Where’s the money? Where’s the money?” Payne-Hercules recalled.
Out of fear and worry for her family, she said that she directed the two men to a small canister where the proceeds from the family’s water business were kept. She said at that point she did not know where her mother, who was staying with them, her husband and her eight-year-old son were.
“…But little did I know, they went downstairs first when they came through the window and tied up my husband and gagged him up and had him face first on the ground while one of the four persons kept him at gunpoint,” Payne-Hercules added.
Fortunately, the woman said, at the time of the incident, her son was asleep. However, her mother woke up to use the washroom and was caught up in the ordeal.
Payne-Hercules said that her mother kept pleading with the bandits to take whatever they found and leave.
“They didn’t harm us or anything, they just insisted that they want the money, they want the money and I was like, ‘What money are you talking about?’” she said.
The men emptied the canister, took everyone’s phones, two laptops and some jewellery before they escaped.
Payne-Hercules explained that three of the men left first and the fourth spent longer in her son’s room, ransacking it. The boy slept through the entire attack.
After the men collected what they wanted from the house, they used a bucket to get over the northern fence before entering a vehicle that was parked in the street behind where the family lives. They then fled.
Hercules’ home is secured by CCTV cameras and the woman pointed out that they would’ve caught images of when the perpetrators entered their yard and exited. Ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department have already visited and done preliminary investigations.
Payne-Hercules also related that the bandits interacted with the family as if they had knowledge about them, which she said indicates that they might have been surveilling them for a while.
She also noted that while they have only been living in the area for a little over a year and it was the first time they had experienced such an incident, over the last few months there have been numerous other break-ins and robberies in the area.