An investigation has been launched into an incident last Tuesday in which a businessman was planassed by a young man who has been identified as Shane Gopeesingh, a son of Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh. The drama occurred outside the Brooklyn Bar in Woodbrook when Gregory Wight went to purchase doubles from a vendor on the sidewalk. The shocking episode was captured by a private security camera and went viral after being posted on YouTube.
Putting an end to a week of speculation, Dr Gopeesingh yesterday confirmed that the person in a video is indeed his son. The incident which surfaced last week on social networking site You Tube showed a man beating a customer with a cutlass. It was reported that the suspect was the son of a senior government official. In an interview with reporters at St Mary's College, Gopeesingh was asked whether the attacker in the video was his son.
He hurriedly admitted, " Yes, he is my son." However, he declined to comment further on the matter, saying that it was under investigation and it would be inappropriate. When police was contacted shortly after, they stated that they could not proceed with pressing charges because Wight, 56, of Diego Martin, had not made a report of the attack. Wight said though his physical injuries will heal, his mental health "has been shot to pieces."
Tim Gopeesingh's son identified as culprit in planass attack
Speaking with the T&T?Guardian yesterday, Wight insisted that a report had been made to the Woodbrook police around 7.40 am the same day. He said the injuries he suffered left him "barely able to drive." He revealed that he has not slept longer than one hour at any time since the incident. "I have been given sleeping pills to help me rest and I am also blacking out at intervals," he said.
After a week of silence concerning the young man's identity, despite a video titled Planass From Minister's Son being posted on YouTube, Gopeesingh yesterday ended all speculation. Recounting the attack yesterday, Wight said it stemmed from him asking Shane Gopeesingh to turn off the engine of his pick-up as people were eating doubles and the diesel fumes were unhealthy.
Wight said his attacker became aggressive and began cursing loudly, but that "the trigger that sent him for his cutlass" was Wight's comment the he had "come from the gutter and would stay there." Wight said he was stuck twice with the cutlass and made to apologise. "If I had not stayed quiet and done exactly what he told me, I expected to die," he said.
Uneasy now if someone gets too close to him, Wight said a woman who tried to hug him yesterday was nearly cuffed down because, "I am extremely jumpy and stressed out." He said his family has also been affected by the incident and that his business was now suffering as a result.
Telling the T&T?Guardian that he would no longer be going to the Brooklyn Bar to purchase doubles as he was accustomed doing, Wight joked: "I always knew doubles were dangerous for my health, but I did not know that it was that dangerous."
Asked if he would be moving ahead with the matter, despite the minister's offer of an apology, Wight said: "It has been six days since I was brutalised and four days since the video was shown on television and yet nothing has been done. That boy is free to roam and brutalise others." Referring to the crime situation, Wight said this incident has only served to reinforce his wish to migrate.
Speaking during yesterday's weekly press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Public Information Officer Sgt Wayne Mystar confirmed that the investigation of the incident had started on Monday. Mystar said a report was made to the Woodbrook police and all leads were being "thoroughly investigated."