|BROTHER,SISTER BOUND, GAGGED |
By NALINEE SEELAL and RESHMA BAAL Thursday, October 20 2011
TEN-YEAR-OLD Daniel Jairam and his sister Krystal, eight, were both bound with electrical cords and their school socks stuffed in their mouths, by four men who stormed a Kelly Village, Caroni house on Tuesday where the children were home alone, as their step-mother had just left to go to a nearby parlour to purchase powdered milk.
However, quick work by police resulted in a shootout taking place and two of the men being arrested and a third, who was shot, now warded under police guard at hospital. The hunt continued last night for the fourth suspect.
Speaking yesterday about the 15 minute ordeal, young Daniel said that while the house was being ransacked by the four men, one of whom was armed with a gun, one of the intruders muttered: “we sorry for what we are doing.” Both siblings attended classes yesterday at the St David RC Primary School which is located near their La Solita Trace, Kelly Village home. “Although my sister and I were both scared, we did not cry,” Daniel told Newsday.
According to the police, at about 12.30 pm, Crystal Pierre left the house in the family car with her one-month-old baby daughter. She locked the front gate, unaware that a man was already in the yard, hiding and watching. Crystal drove off just as she saw her step-daughter close the front door of the house. But the man, police said, swiftly ran to the front door and before Krystal could bolt it, he turned the knob and pushed hard on the door. Taken by surprise, Krystal could not push back to lock the door and the man entered the house. He was joined a short while later by three other men, one of whom was armed with a gun.
Daniel said that at the time, he and his sister Krystal were doing some chores after having completed their homework. One of the men, Daniel said, asked for their mother and he told them that his mother had left for a nearby parlour and would return home soon. The men took the two children to a bedroom and tied them up with electrical wiring from a speaker box. “Before they pushed the socks in my mouth and my sister’s mouth, I whispered to my sister and told her not to make a sound or they would harm us,” Daniel said.
Daniel added that while he and his sister were tied up, the men ransacked the house. One of the men, Daniel said, came to the bedroom and told him and his sister, ‘we sorry for what we doing’, before leaving the room. The men later stole items including two television sets, a digital camera, cellular phones and some cash which friends and relatives had given as gifts for the newborn baby girl.
Daniel said that he began to “play up with the wires” which became loose and he untied himself and his sister. He then squeezed himself between the burglar proofing at a window and ran to a neighbour for help. The burglars, on seeing the neighbours approaching the house, beat a hasty retreat leaving behind several bags of loot. A call was made to the children’s father Murphy Jairam, a contractor whose company Lawn Boys of Chaguanas engages in lawn maintainance and landscaping. Murphy said he immediately contacted the police and hustled home.
Officers coordinated by Superintendent Johnny Abraham swung into action and an All Points Bulletin was issued. Officers intercepted the four men a short distance from their victim’s home and during a shootout, one of the suspects was shot in his chest, two others surrendered and the fourth managed to escape. The wounded suspect was taken the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope where he was treated and remains warded under police guard. “My boy is such a brave little man. I thank God my children are alive and safe. Thank God too my wife was not home or she could have been raped,” a relieved Murphy Jairam told Newsday.
“Imagine we are in a state of emergency and it criminals so brave as to come in people’s yard and wait to pounce,” Jairam said, adding that they are tenants at the house where they live. “We have already identified the items recovered by the police after the shootout so we know that the men held are the ones who held up my children,” he added.
A relieved Crystal Pierre, said she could not believe that such an incident could have happened in such a short space of time after she drove off. “I am traumatised by what took place, but I am happy the police acted quickly which resulted in the apprehension of the bandits in such quick time,” she said. Police said that two of the suspects are from St Helena, another from Santa Cruz and the fourth from Laventille. Investigations are continuing.