Local journalist Lasana Liburd was allegedly attacked and wounded by a man he knew while covering the Secondary School Football League’s Intercol competition at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva yesterday.
Speaking to Guardian Media Limited sometime after the incident, Liburd recalled being pushed from behind while seated in the press area of the stadium by someone he eventually recognised as the subject of a libel lawsuit filed by himself against the individual in March 2017.
“I was at the Intercol Girls final watching the game. Somebody pushed me from the back, because the seats are elevated he was above me.
“When I turned around eventually, he just started swinging. He had a weapon that he was slashing with and he slashed me (I have two cuts) on my chin,” Liburd said.
“A lot of people were nearby but I am not sure who saw or didn’t see. I believe though that some people who were in the same row that he was in got involved and he walked out through the back.”
Liburd said he had no previous physical altercations with the individual but noted that they had been involved in verbal exchanges via social media.
“The only matter is that in the course of my duties as a reporter I had written on a TTFA matter before when he was working as the press officer for the Beach Soccer team and had mentioned his own behaviour at a tour in Tobago. That was the last I really wrote. After that he made a whole bunch of wild statements on Facebook which I asked him to retract and he didn’t,” Liburd said.
Liburd explained that yesterday also coincided with the second occasion in which his alleged attacker was served in the civil matter.
He said he sought to report the incident to the Couva Police Station and was asked to obtain a medical report from the Couva Health Centre.
When contacted for a comment on the matter via telephone yesterday, the alleged perpetrator, who is a school teacher by profession and freelance sports journalist, called the attack an act of self-defence.
He claimed that earlier that day he had been served with a summons at his place of work despite several previous warnings to Liburd and his lawyers to refrain from such.
He claimed he had gone to the match as a spectator where he saw Liburd and attempted to verbally address his grievance with Liburd. He alleged it was during this incident that he had to act in self-defence.