Van driver claims police took money given to him
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September 16, 2014

Van driver claims police took money given to him

The public relations department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) say they are investigating allegations that two members of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) removed money from the purse of a bus driver, and handed it to another road user.

Van driver Leon Daly told SEARCHLIGHT that $300 was removed from his purse, {{more}}following a vehicular accident on September 5 between him and the female driver of a jeep.

According to Daly, his woes began some time after 8 p.m. that night.

He said while parked at the gas station in Pembroke, the jeep bumped into his vehicle from behind.

“I come out and go to the lady and say ‘Miss, yo lash me van…’ She come and she see the lash and she say ‘how much it will cost to fix it?’ I said ‘I don’t know; there is a body works man right there, but this hour I don’t know if he will be home, but I don’t believe it will cost more than $300.’ She said she will give me the money to do it because she kind of stressed out and she won’t have no time for that.

“I say well ok. Then I go and organize with my diesel and she went back to her jeep.

“When I ready to go, I go and push my hand to she; she give me $300 and I ask she her number and she was stumbling, so I gave her my number.”

Daly said that following the exchange, he proceeded to leave the gas station, and some men who were in his van exited the vehicle and went to the woman’s jeep, and as he was driving away, he heard her saying to the men “It done gone so.”

The driver said that on his way back from Barrouallie that evening, in the vicinity of the Rapid Response Unit’s headquarters in Layou, he was stopped by two RRU officers, also called “Black Squad,” who ordered to him to turn off the engine and come out of the vehicle.

He said that one of the officers, whom he identified as Dallaway, told him to hand over the money, and called him a thief and a rascal.

He said he did not get the name of the other officer.

“I say ‘I did not take the money from the lady; the lady lash the van and she give me the money to fix the van, If I give you the money to give the lady, who is going to fix my van?”

Daly said he was then bundled into a police transport, and instead of being taken to the Layou Police Station, he was taken to the station in Vermont.

“Dallaway went and speak to Sergeant Primus who is the head of the station.

“The woman was driving behind the police jeep, and Primus ask the woman what happen and she say I reverse on she, so Mr Primus telling me I reverse on the lady.”

According to Daly, the men who had exited the van and had gone to speak to the woman were also with her, and related a similar story to Sergeant Primus.

Daly said Primus told him that he knew the men, and that they would not lie.

The bus driver said that the police officers proceeded to empty his pockets, searched him, and removed his money purse from around his waist.

“The police officer whose name I don’t know, he open my purse and he asked me if the $300 is what the lady gave me.

“I said that money is what I accumulate today and I don’t know how much was there, so don’t go into my purse.

“The sergeant said to give the lady she money; so I ask him who will fix my vehicle, because she accept that she wrong and she gave me the money.

“So, they open the purse and give it to the sergeant and he asked the lady if this is the $300 that you give him… and when I look I see the lady with the money….”

After the woman was given the money, Daly said that the RRU officers left him in Vermont, forcing him to call another van driver to bring him back to Layou to retrieve his vehicle after 10 p.m. that night.

He said he then went to the Layou Police Station to report the incident, only to find out that the female driver and the men had made a report there, and they were told that there was nothing that could be done, since the woman had already accepted responsibility to fix the vehicle.

“They were not satisfied with what the police at the station told them, so they went to black squad and meet these two guys who just decide to take this up on their own,” Daly noted.

“When I reported it to the Layou station and the police ask me if the lady get the money and I told him they took the money out of my purse, he didn’t say anything; he just looked away like if he was upset.”

Daly said that he had never had any issues with the police in the past, and has always been cooperative with the police.

He revealed that his bus was the same vehicle in which escaped fugitive Godwin Moses was riding, when he was cornered and killed by police in December 2011.

Police shot a hole in Daly’s van in the process.

He said that he was the individual who discovered and handed over the handgun, believed to have been taken from slain dental technician Ewart “Ells” King, and allegedly left in the vehicle by Moses.

“When we going Vermont, I say ‘Father God, imagine them same set of police shoot up my van, and up to now them can’t compensate me for my van and this same set of police come back and harassing me for things they don’t have any calling in.

“The one who I didn’t get his name, he turn to me and say ‘you fo done get your dead, you fo dead long time; if it was left to me you would done dead because you from Layou and you been get the guy in your van and say you don’t know is he, so what you talking about compensate.’”

Daly said that he has reported the matter to his lawyer and lodged a complaint at the Police Public Relations and Complaints Office in Kingstown.

That office confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT that they had received the complaint.

“I feel offended by the threat. I assisted the police by finding a gun in my van and take it to the police and now the same set of police say I should have got my death.

“And because of this, the boys in the van were from Barrouallie and they telling people that I thief and I get lock up for $300, so I want them to see that I am clearing my name,” Daly said. (JJ)