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Shooting spree cop arrested at Caura

By NALINEE SEELAL Monday, April 21 2014

A police constable with over 15 years service created a major scare for bathers and limers at the popular Caura River on Saturday afternoon when he allegedly took out a personal firearm and began firing shots into the air.

The officer, who is based in the Southern Division as a CID officer, is one of the many junior officers issued personal firearms by the Office of the Commissioner of Police.

According to reports, shortly after 4 pm, the officer who appeared to be in high spirits, was seen displaying his personal firearm before he started firing some shots into the air.

Bathers and limers who had packed the popular river began scampering to safety, while women and children took cover behind parked vehicles. Those who were cooking on open firesides also took cover while others looked on in shock.

Uniform police officers, who were on duty close by, spoke sternly to the officer and asked him to desist from his action. He instead refused and fired two more shots into the air.

The gun-toting constable was immediately grabbed by his colleagues, disarmed and placed into a police vehicle. He was taken to the Arima Police Station where he was detained.

While he was walking towards the police vehicle the officer was jeered at and cursed by the many who had witnessed the bizarre incident.

A man who called himself a “Caura River faithful” said he was cooking “curry duck mixed with a yardie” and had provision boiling in another pot and tomatoes roasting on the open fire to make tomato choka when he observed the officer behaving in an erratic manner. The man appeared to be showing off, the Caura River Faithful said but when he pulled out his gun and began displaying it he became a bit concerned.

“When I heard the pow! pow! pow!” he said, “I immediately left my pot unattended and ran behind a tree.”

The incident soured his lime and coupled with that all his tomatoes were burnt and he could not make his tomato choka — a favourite of his. In addition, he lost his appetite.

Another eyewitness, said she was just packing up to leave when the person began shooting and all she remembers is grabbing her three grandchildren and holding them close to her, using her body as a human shield. She said she will be thinking twice about returning to Caura River because of the incident.

Despite the arrest of the officer, persons returned to their normal lime and danced the afternoon away to the blaring sounds of tassa, chutney and soca music.

President of the Police Social and Welfare association Inspector Anand Ramesar yesterday told Newsday, “the association wants to endorse the actions taken by the officers on duty to deal with a misconduct which allegedly occurred in their presence.”

He commended the officers for their swift action and said that such behaviour should not be tolerated and hopes that the matter is dealt with swiftly.

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