Passengers, drivers robbed and beaten at Hopetown
– vehicles damaged
– shots fired by police to disperse the crowd
A taxi driver from Bath Settlement was last evening attacked by persons protesting along the Hopetown Public Road. The young man, who requested anonymity, disclosed that he had passengers in his car and was trying to maneuver his way pass the protesters when he was attacked by a group of men who assaulted him and robbed his passengers.
According to the 28-year-old man, “they robbed one of my passengers of his phone and wallet and they were trying to rob a female passenger of her bag.” He stated that he attempted to intervene to prevent his passengers from being harassed and robbed but was dealt with several lashes across his back with an electrical cord by two of the men.
“They lash me three times across my back and I rushed to the car and drove away,” he said.
The man said that he was heading back to his taxi base at Bush lot when the incident occurred.
Meanwhile, another resident from Fyrish Village, Corentyne, Berbice who was caught in the traffic was reportedly beaten as well. A truck driver of Kiltern Village was also attacked as he was making his way back to Region 6.
Meanwhile, the public relations department of the Guyana Police Force in a statement yesterday urged that persons engaged in protest action to exercise calm as efforts are made to “continue with intensity to investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice”.
According to the police, they are in receipt of several reports of robberies being perpetrated on several innocent citizens, “acts which the Force takes seriously”. They further stated that “when protest action degenerates into unlawful acts, infringing on the rights of other citizens and putting the protection of life and the safeguard of property at risk, the GPF will consequently take the appropriate action against perpetrators”.
Residents reported that the police fired pellets and teargas to disperse the crowd at Hopetown after reports of them robbing and harassing drivers and passengers.