Schoolteacher beaten, stabbed over ‘bad drive’
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Monday, September 24 2012
A primary schoolteacher was killed mere metres from his home on Saturday night following an altercation with a group of men, all reportedly over a “bad drive”.
Police reported that at about 8.35pm, Jagdis Harripersad, 43, was driving in a westerly direction along Raghunanan Road, Longdenville, on his way home, when he was forced to a stop by a vehicle which suddenly pulled in front of his — blocking the roadway. The result of this was that Harripersad’s black Nissan Wingroad motor vehicle was forced partly onto the shoulder of the road.
A group of men then exited the other vehicle which was blocking the roadway, and approached the father of two as he remained seated in the front seat of his car. Harripersad reportedly condemned the men for putting all their lives in danger. The confrontation soon became heated and two members of the group ran up to Harripersad, still seated in the car, and began beating him about the body.
One of the men was armed with a cutlass, and, as they assaulted the schoolteacher, Harripersad was chopped once in the chest as he sat in his car. He died on the spot.
The men then fled the scene, and the police were notified.
A party of officers from the Cunupia Police Station, the Chaguanas CID, and the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, including Inspector Wayne Lawrence, Inspector Cooper, Corporal Bennet, PC Mohammed, PC Maraj and PC Charles, responded.
Upon their arrival at the scene, the area was cordoned off. Inquiries by the policemen led to the arrest of one of the suspects near the scene of the crime. After questioning the individual, the officers learnt Harripersad had allegedly given the group of men “a bad drive” earlier in the evening, and they had confronted the schoolteacher as a result.
Further questioning by police officers led to the arrest of another suspect at his mother’s home early yesterday morning. A few hours later, a third man was arrested as it was alleged he had been given the murder weapon and ordered to dispose of it. Police investigators also revealed yesterday that they were close to arresting a fourth suspect in the murder, and they expected to hold him by this morning.
All three persons held so far lived along Raghunanan Road.
When Newsday visited Harripersad’s home on Maraj Trace, off Lawrence Wong Road, Longdenville yesterday, his youngest daughter, 17-year-old Ginine Harripersad, described her father as a very loving and caring person who would be missed greatly by his family and the community as a whole.
“He was the most helpful person you would ever meet. He was a very talented person, always playing his cricket. In fact, he was even supposed to attend a club competition today with his friends. He was always giving advice to anyone who asked, and it was always the best advice. Hands down. You can ask anybody in the community.
“They were always coming to him for advice. In fact, I think he taught most of the young people in this area as well, so they were always coming to him with questions, or asking for recommendations and things like that.
“He was a well-respected man, he was a well-loved man. But more importantly, he was a family man. He loved and lived for his family, for us, and it hurts us all to know that he had to leave us so soon and in such a manner,” Ginine said.
She recalled that her father was part of a group of men who had organised a fund-raising BBQ sale that day, and she was with him for most of Saturday assisting him.
“I was with him whole day yesterday. He was at the fund-raiser since about 5.30 am and was assisting everyone. That was the type of person he was. I eventually went up and helped him out from about 7 am, and we spent the day together.
“About 6 am, he asked if I wanted to go home, and he dropped me here, and then gave me a message to give my mother that he would be back shortly as he was going out with the boys. He then drove off, and then next thing we know a few hours later, he died. So this is especially hard on my mom because she didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye, or see him one last time. She just saw the vehicle through the window when he dropped me home and that was it,” Ginine recalled.
Newsday eventually learnt that the fund-raiser was to assist a resident of the area who needed money to repay a debt which was owed.
Harripersad was a teacher at the Raghunanan Road Government Primary School.
Investigations are continuing.