Sandy Bay man dies in Bequia during altercation
August 17, 2007

Sandy Bay man dies in Bequia during altercation

The senseless Death of Sandy Bay resident Vennie Arthur Baptiste has left family members on the Grenadine island of Bequia and on mainland St. Vincent in shock as they try to cope with the loss.{{more}}

Baptiste, also known as Brenton or ‘Brocco’ was pronounced dead at the Bequia Hospital shortly after 9 p.m. last Sunday, following an altercation with a Bequia resident over what has been called “a trivial matter”.

The 50-year-old Baptiste (at left below) was assaulted just yards from his home in Ocar, allegedly by some men who were attending a party at a nearby bar.

Daphne Child, a relative of Baptiste who operates a t-shirt and beads stall at the Port Elizabeth Harbour said that her cousin was a hardworking man who did not deserve to die the way he did.

Baptiste was a labourer who had been employed with Barnard’s Realty for the last 30 years. “He would do his work, and come by here before going home,” she said. “He would never think twice to lend a helping hand when people ask him.”

Baptiste had just finished helping a friend repair his boat in Port Elizabeth the night he met his death.

An avid sports fan, Brocco loved cricket and was to receive a trophy for his participation in the just concluded Bequia Cricket Competition in which he was an umpire. He was the uncle of former Windward Islands cricketer Neil Baptiste.

Baptiste has other well-known relatives, including 2006 Digicel Rising Star winner Kyron Baptiste, who is his cousin, and leading Caribbean distance runner Pamenos Ballantyne.

According to Daphne, although he had no children of his own, he was a family man who was close to those relatives who lived in Bequia.

She said that he was a well-known man on the island, and it was a shock that he had lain where he fell for hours before an ambulance was called.

She also said that he would be surely missed by those whose lives he touched. “We will all miss him a lot,” she said. “But God’s grace is sufficient to keep us and justice will be served.”

Up to press time, 31-year-old labourer Angus Penniston (at right above) had been detained in connection with Baptiste’s death. Penniston, a well-known young man on the island, has no prior convictions, but has been in trouble with the law on previous occasions.

When Searchlight visited the Bequia Police Station where Penniston was detained, his only comment was “I am no criminal.”