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Community to seek justice for its ‘godfather’ (with CNC3 video)
Residents of Glencoe and Diego Martin yesterday warned they were prepared to take matters into their own hands to ensure justice was delivered after last week’s robbery at the home of Rocky Garcia. “We are giving law enforcement ample time to arrest this unlawful citizen, or we will find him and bring him to justice in any manner we decide,” one resident told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
An armed man, who is said to be an escaped prisoner, broke into Garcia’s Glencoe house around 8.30 pm on October 16 and tied up his wife and daughter before robbing them of cash and jewelry. Garcia, who is the vice-chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA), was not at home at the time.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian before a tour of Glencoe and Diego Martin yesterday, Garcia, the father of three, said his family was “coping with the situation.” Saying they were “strong enough to come out of anything,” Garcia said as public awareness of the incident grew in the last week, a community manhunt had started.
“Everybody has come together now to find the perpetrator,” he said. Describing Garcia as the “community godfather” yesterday, Glencoe resident Makida Patrick said she was shocked to learn of the robbery. “If you want help with anything, you just have to ask Rocky and it comes. So why would someone do that to him?” Patrick asked.
Saying Glencoe was a peaceful area patrolled by police during the day and night, Patrick added: “I am not sure if a neighbourhood watch is necessary.” It was a similar situation at Keno’s Cuisine, at the corner of La Horquette Branch Road, where proprietor Keno Richmond said: “That’s the most upstanding man in the community. Any kind of help you want, he can deliver.
“I could not function the next day after hearing about the robbery. I was real distraught. This is an unfortunate and upsetting situation.” Richmond said residents needed to work together to keep an eye out for each other. Demanding justice on Garcia’s behalf, residents of La Puerta, Diego Martin, spoke on the condition of anonymity as they expressed disbelief, shock, outrage and anger over the incident.
Referring to Garcia as “a rare find,” one young man said: “He helps out brothers and sisters in need, and while we only see some politicians for elections, we see Rocky right through for work, for help, for anything. I am very disturbed, and violating him is like violating one of my brothers.” Garcia twice ran unsuccessfully as a Congress of the People candidate for the area in general elections.
Telling the T&T Guardian he is not going to be distracted from his goal to steer the less-privileged in his community and the surrounding areas away from their dependency on government programmes, such as URP and CEPEP, Garcia said:
“I don’t look at what I am doing as a way of giving back. This is my living. My richness is in my children and family.”
Speaking at a construction site at Newbury Hill, Glencoe, Garcia’s right-hand man Steve Yearwood said: “I felt real hurt and disturbed by the situation. I did not eat for days after hearing about it.” Providing an insight into his community work, Garcia said his assistance had resulted in a monthly average employment of at least 46 people, as he solicited residents’ help in several districts to complete varying projects.
Emphasising he was steering them away from a life of crime, Garcia said he sought to instill discipline and a sense of value and self-worth in people, which in turn helped them to become motivated to improve themselves. At the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) office in Diego Martin, several people agreed his help went far beyond financial assistance.
The men described Garcia as someone who “works and makes things happen. We not looking at the colour of his skin but his personality, and he is always helping everybody, regardless of who they are. This is unbelievable and we are still trying to figure it out.” The men vowed that although a police investigation was under way, they were ready to take their own action.
“This matter was being investigated by the people, as Rocky is a chief servant of the people, and the perpetrator will be brought to justice by any means necessary. This is a disrespect and we will deal with it,” one resident said. Calls to the cellphone of Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, who is the MP for the Diego Martin West constituency, went unanswered yesterday.
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