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January 7, 2014
73-year-old Freeland resident robbed and beaten

Residents of Freeland, Mesopotamia are in shock, and at the same time irate, that 73-year-old Peruvin Joseph was robbed and beaten by two men, who broke into his home during the early hours of Sunday morning.{{more}}

The residents are also upset with the response of the police.

According to Joseph, who, up to press time, was still a patient at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), he heard the main gate to his property open, but paid no attention to it.

“I thought it was the wind, so I didn’t bother,” the man told SEARCHLIGHT.

He said he heard another noise coming from the back of the house, but again thought nothing of it.

Joseph told SEARCHLIGHT that while he was sitting on the chair in the living room, two men suddenly jumped him.

The elderly man said the pair made their way into the house by removing louvers from a window at the side of the house. He said that his hands were tied and one of the men kept demanding money.

He explained that the men covered themselves with sheets, so he was not able to recognize who they were.

Joseph said during the ordeal, which occurred between midnight and 1 a.m, he was beaten.

“One stood up and start boxing me on me chest,” Joseph said.

An obviously discoloured area on the right side of his chest is evidence of being repeatedly hit on that side, the man said.

The elderly man said there was no money in the house, expect for a few dollars and some loose change.

He, however, said that he was in a lot of pain and could not move as he liked.

Searchlight spoke to one neighbour, who said that she called out to Joseph around 9:15 Sunday morning and that he responded, but did not come out.

She then decided that she would look for him when she got back from running an errand.

The resident said that when she returned, she again called out to him and again he answered, but did not move.

A few minutes later, she said she received a telephone call from a relative of the man who said that Joseph had asked for a call to be made for her, to come to see him.

“I say how come he call you and didn’t call me?”

According to the relative, Joseph said he could not remember the neighbour’s number.

“When I went down, I was in shock – I saw Mr Joseph sitting by a chair,” the resident said.

She said that she saw a pool of blood and that the man had some small cuts and bruises on his knee and foot.

The woman said that she also saw blood on the man’s shirt.

When asked what happened, she said that Joseph told her that he had been jumped, beaten and robbed.

But the resident also expressed some dissatisfaction with the response of the police.

According to the woman, up to Monday morning, the police had not yet arrived on the scene.

She said further that when she contacted the Mesopotamia Police, she was instructed to call the health centre. They told the that they would get a statement from the man when he arrived there, as they had no transport.

Joseph was eventually taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, so, according to the neighbour, she is not sure if the police were able to get a statement from the affected man.

She said that she was going to take the matter to higher authorities.

“Because this is serious — this is an old person, he don’t trouble nobody in the area,” the woman said.

“I would like to see the police, with all the violence, they need to patrol more.”

According to the woman, there used to be more police presence in the past, when police used to walk around.

“And with all the happening, the Bun Pan thing, we need to see the presence of the police in the area,” she said.

She said that she was very concerned because of the close proximity of where the incident took place to where she lives.

Within recent times, the Marriaqua valley has been plagued with reports of robberies and breaking and entering.

In June 2013, the Marriaqua Friendly Society, or Bun Pan, as it is called, was broken into and in April the Western Union office was broken into, with the burglars making off with EC$40,000.

There were also a number of private homes and businesses within recent times that have been the targets of bandits. (DD)