Front Page
March 12, 2010
Accused shot by cops

Residents of Georgetown, especially parents and youngsters, can now breathe a lot easier, following the capture on Wednesday of alleged child molester Oscar Charles.{{more}}

Charles, also of Georgetown, was shot by police as he tried to evade them and several men armed with cutlasses who were hot on his heels.

The man, said to be in his early 30s, was wanted in relation to the violent sexual assault of a nine-year-old female student of the Georgetown Government School sometime on Monday.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that shortly after the school’s first break at 10:30 in the morning, the youth did not return to her Grade Five classroom.

An enquiry at the girl’s house, and subsequently a search of the immediate area by students and some adults did not turn up the child; but when a naked Charles was seen running from the school’s washroom, persons searching the room found the infant bleeding and crying.

Right after, an alarm was raised and a hunt by police officers and civilians, including relatives of the little girl, was started for the suspect.

School was suspended for the rest of the day following the incident.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the Georgetown Government School just hours before the suspect was captured, a number of concerned parents were present at the school waiting to collect their children for the lunch break.

One mother noted that it was a sad situation when the children were not safe at their own school.

“If it was my child,” one parent offered, “that man woulda lose his hands and p_ _s when they catch him.”

Another indicated that her son asked to be transferred to another school.

“He asked me to send him to the Dickson (Methodist) School, but a thing like this could happen anywhere when no security (guard) is there.”

The mother of two said that she had advised her nervous children not to go to the bathrooms.

After the child was molested, students were visiting the bathrooms in groups.

Efforts by SEARCHLIGHT to contact officials of the Ministry of Education concerning the incident proved futile, but it was reliably informed that the acting Chief Education Officer and acting deputy visited the institution on Tuesday

Counselors had visited on Tuesday and Wednesday, where they spoke with teachers and students.

Just before 2 pm., Charles was spotted in the village of Chilli by some of his hunters, and was chased from his hiding area in a banana field and the police were called.

In an attempt to evade his pursuers, the suspect entered the home of one of his relatives where he was cornered and shot in his upper right leg by police officers as he tried to escape.

Charles was said to be armed with a knife.

Police officers at the scene had their hands filled as they tried to keep the mob at bay, who were trying to get at the accused.

He was arrested and taken to the Georgetown Hospital which is situated about 200 metres from where he is alleged to have committed what was described as a heinous crime.

“They should give we just 15 minutes with him,” said one visibly upset young man.

At the hospital the chaos ensued as more persons gathered to get a glimpse of the suspect.

Although everyone was relieved that the alleged rapist was apprehended, the majority were openly disappointed that he was not captured by the vigilante group before falling into the hands of the police.

“The police shoulda leh them deal with him fuss, he deserve anything he get,” said one elderly man. “They (the police) shoulda kill him.”

However, one police officer informed the crowd through jeers that the suspect had as much right to be protected as his victim.

As Charles was placed in an awaiting ambulance to be transported to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, a number of villagers were still able to get in a few shots at the wounded man.

With the suspect now off the street, many hope that the healing process can now begin.

But it may be a while before Vincentians would forget the tragic incident that not only took away the innocence of one young girl, but also that of many of her school mates.