A qualified apology by Minister of State in the Ministry of the People, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, over comments she made about People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley has failed to q
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Cops recapture hospital escapee in Holy Name Convent
A dash for freedom by a suspected child kidnapper lasted all of ten minutes yesterday after he was re-arrested a few metres from the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, where he had been under police guard for the past two weeks. Around 7 am, the 33-year-old suspect in the kidnapping of Keyianna Noel asked to be taken to the bathroom on Ward 21. On nearing the bathroom, however, he punched PC Mc Intosh in the face, throwing him to the floor. The suspect then ran out of the hospital, stealing an undisclosed amount of cash from a taxi driver who had his windows down. He ran into the grounds of the Holy Name Convent and Holy Name Preparatory School, which are on the same compound but are separated by a wall. The schools are next to the hospital. The man’s frantic bid to escape caused panic in the schools after he was cornered there by officers, including Mc Intosh, and re-arrested before being taken back to hospital.
The T&T Guardian was told that after police fired a single warning shot at the suspect, an alarm bell was set off which alerted all the girls of the Holy Name Convent to assemble in the hall.
After the warning shot, more police officers arrived and cordoned off the school grounds and the suspect was held as he tried to scale the school wall. However, the shot had many of the girls screaming and running but no one was injured. Some frantic pupils telephoned their parents, who raced to the school to secure their children. The school principal subsequently told the children what had happened and they were given the option to leave school early or remain. The principal also assured that counselling would be provided for those who were in need. Staff from the Ministry of Education later visited the school and spoke with both teachers and pupils. Police from the Port-of-Spain Criminal Intelligence Department and Belmont Police Station, including Insp Harvey Jawadir and Sgt Alexander, also arrived at the school. ASP Ajith Persad ordered that the man should be kept handcuffed at all times to prevent any possible recurrence. He also ordered a thorough investigation of the escape bid.
The suspect had been at the hospital since his arrest on January 2 after complaining of pains in the chest and abdomen. He was scheduled to undergo a CT scan but was unable to due to a lack of equipment. An ultrasound showed the suspect, who was vomiting and spitting blood, had several broken ribs which the CT scan was to confirm. He was due to receive the scan over the weekend but an allergic reaction to fish stopped it. The suspect was held by members of the North Eastern Division Task Force headed by Insp Roger Alexander after he twice failed to surrender to police. On December 17 last year Keyianna was taken from her family’s Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain, apartment. A report was made to the Besson Street Police and the next day police picked her up along the Priority Bus Route (PBR), Aranguez.The suspect is to be charged with escaping lawful custody, assaulting a police officer and larceny in addition to the kidnapping charge.
Message from the school
We wish to assure you that the school is settled and back to normal following the entrance of an intruder on the compound and the intervention of the police in his pursuit. You may have received varying accounts of the event, possibly from your daughter, and we are aware that reports have already surfaced on social media. However, we wish to clarify that no one was injured on the compound and the intruder who used the compound as his escape route was apprehended by the police off the compound.
We tried as far as possible to put the school in lockdown mode while the officers were on the compound and following their exit have been able to settle the girls, get them into assembly and review our safety procedures. We do hope that the school day will proceed with as great a degree of normalcy as possible and we will be attentive to any signs of trauma in the student population as a result of this. We are at present inundated by calls from concerned parents and thus wish to guarantee you that your daughters are safe, the school is settled and that there is no reason to panic. We thank you for your understanding.