Did a burglar just drop down dead trying to escape from police? That is what a police report released today says. According to the report, Police responded to a burglary in progress at the La Immaculada Credit Union compound on Forest Drive in Belmopan sometime around 2 am on Sunday May10th. Police say when they arrived at the scene, they saw that the main door to the building was broken. The police were told by witnesses that the person that had burglarized the building, later identified as 33 year old Zach Leonard August, rode off on a bicycle in the direction of the Market Square area. Police then went into that area where they saw a male person fitting the description of the burglar and they began to pursue him.
“The person was seen coming towards the side of the ring road. Upon seeing the police, the person diverted to somewhere behind the magistrate’s court here in Belmopan. When police combed the area, we discovered a lifeless, not the lifeless, he was still alive upon arrival, of Mr. Zack Leonard August. He’s 32 years old and he’s a resident of number 3 Power Lane here in Belmopan. He was immediately taken to the Western Regional Hospital to seek medical attention. However he died upon arrival. “
So how did August die? Superintendent Gillett told us today that the police department does not suspect any wrong doing on the part of the police officers who responded to the scene, nevertheless ,the professional standards branch has launched an investigation into the matter.
“We believe in the process of getting away from the police there are some cement boulders or cement pillars behind the magistrate court. And because the area was dark, we believe, and the damage that was caused to the bicycle, we believe that he, in the process of trying to elude us he ran into one of those pillars and fell face on to the cement pavement. We don’t suspect that there was any wrong doing on the part of the police officers. We are happy to report that no shots were fired. We did all the ground work to ensure that that did not occur. We did not observe any other injury to the guy except injuries to the face and to the hands. As is customary, the commissioner has ordered an investigation. The Professional Standards Branch has taken over, interviewed all of the officers. Attendant to that, there is a new thing now from the Public Service called the employee assistance program. We are seeking counseling for the three young officers who responded to scene because they witnessed a person who died shortley after they arived at the scene. So we are seeking counseling for them.”
In the mean time, police are inviting the public to come in to the station to identify the phones and other electrical devices that were found at August’s premises.
“We also saw at the scene a blue, damaged beach cruiser bicycle – damaged to its front portions. A heavy duty wire cutter which was consistent to the, what we found at the scene at the La Immaculada Credit Union. We subsequently did a search of his premise and we discovered twenty- ne cell phones of different brands. We also found a number of other electronic and electronic devices. We ask the public to come in, visit the station and see if any of these items belong to anybody that might have made a report or made reports previously.”
Zach August, a resident of Power Lane Bwelmopan, had recently served 8 years for burglary at the Kolbe foundation. His body now awaits a postmortem examination.