Last week we told you that two minors and another male person were apprehended by Belize City police officers while trying to escape the scene of a robbery they had allegedly committed. According to reports, sometime around 6:30 last Thursday night, 34 year old security guard Dion Gentle had just arrived at his office at Harpie Security on Antelope Extension when he was approached by two male persons, one of whom placed a firearm to his head and robbed him of several items. This morning, Deputy Commissioner Chester Williams told us what transpired last week Thursday.
Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police: Thursday of last week, members of operation ACT received information of a robbery on Antelope Street Extension. The officers quickly sprang into action, and upon reaching the area, they learnt that a security guard from Harpe Security Company, who was carrying firearms at the time, was held up and robbed by some individuals. The police quick response to the complaint made by the security officer led to them seeing three persons fleeing the area. They were in a van. Police pursued the van and caught up with it and the occupants quickly got out of the van and attempted to make good their escape. Police pursued the individuals during which the police officers fired shots during which two of the individuals were caught in the lower part of their body. Those two individuals are minors and police also in the same operation apprehended twenty-three-year-old Harry Montero. And the two firearms stolen from the security guard were recovered. The firearms are two point thirty eight revolvers and they are presently in police custody. The three individuals have since been arrested and charged for robbery and kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
The parents of the two minors claims that police officers subdued and detained the boys before physically beating them and inflicting gunshot wounds to their bodies. Williams was asked if police officers did act in such a brutal manner. Here is how he responded.
Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police: You see Jules, this is why society is the way it is today, because we don’t have parents out there who always try to justify the wrong of their kids or their children. I personally was on the scene and from my discussions with people who were in this area as well, the police shot at those persons while they were fleeing, not while they were on the ground. And I can tell you I was very quick on the scene and none of those individuals were beaten by the police. What these parents need to do is to try and counsel their children to ensure that they don’t put themselves in this position again. Because at the end of the day the society is sick and tired of these young men going out there, robbing people who have worked so hard for what they have, for what they have, and as the police, we are going to do our best to be able to ensure that we apprehend and arrest those person who are out there relieving people of their properties.
Reporter: One of the mothers provided pictures, he’s a minor obviously. But, it shows that he has a burst lip, a burst head, the next one has a burst on top of his head. These are injuries from a beatdown, sir, you can’t run away from that.
Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police: If that is what she feels Jules, then she can go and lodge a complaint with the professional standards branch, and I will tell you, the circumstances of how the incident occurred, these young men they could have been killed by the police., that is the bottom line.
According to Williams, security guards are prime targets for criminals seeking to obtain firearms. Williams is therefore asking that security guards be extra vigilant while on duty. The three individuals have since been charged for robbery and kept unlicensed fire arm.