(Trinidad Guardian) Villagers at Saroop Trace in Las Lomas No. 2 were left traumatised and forced to lock up in their homes early yesterday afternoon, after the two remaining prisoners who escaped from Golden Grove in Arouca were seen running through the area.
Michael Findley, from Laventille and Olantungi Denbow, of Port-of-Spain, are said to be armed and very dangerous.
Up to press time, a special team of police officers from the Special Operations Response Team, Northern Division Task Force and Canine Unit, supported by an aerial search team in the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) helicopter, were combing the thick forested area of Las Lomas, Centeno and Brazil Village for the prisoners, who were the only two remaining from a batch of eight who made a daring escape from the Remand Section of the Golden Grove Prison between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
While Guardian Media was at Saroop Trace, villagers admitted they were very scared.
“Yeah, we have to be scared. We can’t go nowhere and leave our wives and children home. We glimpsed them walking through the bushes onto the gravel road here, right in front we…we watching them cross more bushes and then they start running to the forested area to Centeno,” a villager who did not want to be named said as he pointed to the direction the escaped prisoners were seen heading.
The villager said the two were spotted at about 2 pm.
“A man in a silver car saw them and alerted us and he was brave enough to follow them and see where they were heading and that’s when we called the police, who were not too far from here searching. They came in quick time with the dogs.”
After speaking with the villagers, the team of officers went to an area along El Carmen Road where they contacted the special search team on board the SSA helicopter and waved to them, giving instructions to search a thickly forested area near the Centeno Livestock Station Dairy Unit.
Denbow and Findley were two of five people arrested and charged for the February double murders of construction workers Andre La Touche and Abiola Noel.
The sixth prison escapee, Atiba Sealey, was recaptured at about 10.45 am yesterday in the said El Carmen Road area while casually taking a walk along the streets.
Police officers have thanked residents for their alertness and for contacting them and helping in the respective recaptures of the escapees so far.
Police said Sealy, 29, was one of three men held for the armed robbery of five employees and a patron at Island Beer Chill and Grill in South Park, San Fernando, in January. He was held by police while hiding in the washroom of the KFC outlet at the mall.
Hours after the eight men escaped from the prison, five of them were recaptured in some bushes near the Rock Park Hotel in St Helena.
They were identified as:
- Steffon Austin, of Erin.
- Joshua Janet, of Brasso Seco, Paria.
- Mikhale Mohammed, of Wallerfield, Arima.
- Brent Johnson, of Five Rivers, Arouca.
- Kerry Valentino, of Quash Trace, Sangre Grande.
They are all charged with murder and were on remand awaiting trial when they escaped.
The eight men escaped through a small hole in the upper left corner of cell 6 in the upper south wing of the Remand Yard, which is otherwise known as “the deep.”
A hacksaw was believed to have been the tool used to cut through bars, while two bricks were also removed before they made their escape.
Members of the public are asked to circulate the photos provided of Findley and Denbow and to contact the nearest police station if they see these escapees, or have any information that will lead to their recapture.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the escaped men can contact the police at 999, 911, 800-TIPS or any police station or text/WhatsApp 482-GARY.