Man commits suicide after stabbing teen
By DARCEL CHOY and NALINEE SEELAL Saturday, September 21 2013
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SEEKING ANSWERS: Jennifer Mohammed at her Caroni home as she sought answers last night over why her daughter Lystra Bridgelal was stabbed by a man dur...
“I CAN’T lose my daughter...I just can’t lose her.”
Those were the words Jennifer Mohammed cried out last night as she continued praying that her 19-year-old daughter Lystra Bridgelal survives being stabbed in the chest by 55-year Morris Toppin on Thursday evening, who later took his own life by ingesting a poisonous substance.
According to police, Toppin armed himself with a knife and at about 6.30 pm, went to a shop at Farm Road in Kelly Village, Caroni where he accosted Bridgelal and an argument ensued over $5,000.
He accused Bridgelal of failing to deposit the cash in a bank account as he had instructed. According to eyewitnesses, Toppin grabbed onto Bridgelal and dragged her from the shop before stabbing her once in the chest.
As she fell to the ground, Toppin attempted to stab Bridgelal a second time but was prevented by a close male relative of the woman. Toppin then ran away from the scene and later drank a poisonous substance.
The injured Bridgelal was rushed to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope where she was treated and remains warded, while Toppin was pronounced dead on arrival at Arima Health Centre.
Speaking last night at her Farm Road, Kelly Village home, Mohammed said that on Thursday, she was at home when her daughter was stabbed not too far away. Mohammed contacted the EHS Ambulance but one never came. Mohammed said she then called the police and it was officers who took her daughter to the EWMSC.
She said her daughter met Toppin in 2011, but was not in a relationship with him, although it appeared that he wanted one. She said her daughter, who is a labourer, received threats from Toppin which she (Bridgelal) never reported to police.
“I don’t know why she did not, maybe if she did, this might not have happened,” her mother said.
She said her daughter is the sole breadwinner in the family and she does not know how they will cope without Bridgelal.
“We are already owing on the rent and I applied for a food card but they say it is still being processed. I just don’t know what we are going to do,” Mohammed said adding that she shares the family home with her two sons, Nigel and Steve. Bridgelal is at the Surgical Ward and is expected to undergo surgery some time today.
“The doctors say it is a deep wound below her heart and she is in a lot of pain so they need to operate on her,” Mohammed said.
Relatives of Toppin said they were sad to hear what happened and are hoping Bridgelal survives. They said that Toppin was a father of five and was a man who took good care of his loved ones. A party of officers from the Caroni police station led by Sgt Gobin and including Cpls Curtis Pierre and Singh visited Bridgelal at Mt Hope and recorded a statement from her.
Officers also interviewed witnesses to the stabbing and investigations are continuing.