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Desron ‘Lavaman’ Rodriguez released from police custody

Desron ‘Lavaman’ Rodriguez released from police custody
Desron Rodriguez

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‘National hero material’, ‘brave’, ‘thrill seeker’, ‘explorer’, ‘volcano hunter’ and ‘doltish’, are just some of the names that Desron Rodriguez has been called on social media. 

Since La Soufriere volcano started erupting in December 2020, Rodriguez has posted several videos on his social media platforms, allegedly showing him at the summit of the erupting volcano.  

In some of the videos and photos, other persons are seen with Rodriguez.  

The trips to the volcano, located in the red zone, caused the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to issue a statement stressing that persons who journey into the red zone will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  

But it is alleged that this did not stop Rodriguez, and on Tuesday around 4 p.m. his apparent exploits on the summit of La Soufriere earned him an interview with police officers stationed at the Biabou Police Station when they detained him. 

The police’s attention focused on Rodriguez because on Sunday, the man who earned himself the moniker “Lava Man” posted a video claiming that he was at the summit of La Soufriere.

The volcano erupted explosively that same day, sending plumes of ash and gases into the atmosphere.  

Grant Connell, Rodriguez’s lawyer told SEARCHLIGHT that his client was released on Thursday evening after 48 hours, and asked to return to the Biabou Police Station on Monday April 26.  

“I am sure this matter could have been addressed a different way and we will see if the Commissioner [of police]fine-tunes his wisdom on Monday and he will say if Mr. Rodriguez will be informed of the decision on the way forward,” Connell said.  

“In the interim, we have a nation to rebuild, and we should make best use of the man power on this poverty stricken island,” the lawyer also commented.  

A source said that while in custody, Rodriguez was interviewed electronically by two seasoned investigators, one of them, Sergeant Bion Duncan, who is attached to the Major Crimes Unit (MCU).  

Professor Richard Robertson, who is leading the team of scientists from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre monitoring the volcano, described the actions of persons who continue to climb the erupting volcano as “Doltish”.  

Rodriquez’s mother in a recording, told person on social media on Tuesday that on two separate occasions police officers armed with guns and “no warrant” came to her home and searched for Rodriguez who gave up himself on Tuesday.  

She said she was shaken up by the police visits, as her son was hunted for allegedly climbing La Soufriere, and she wanted to know what crime was committed.  

Also, persons are asking how come the other persons that were allegedly with Rodriguez on the summit were not arrested.   

On Thursday, Commissioner of Police (COP) Collin John said investigations are ongoing.   

The COP had last week warned that persons who enter the red zone of the Soufriere volcano, can be charged under different sections of the Public Order Act.  

“We are trying to protect you and us. If you go there and fall into difficulty, the police would be called upon to help you, and some persons are going in there with their children,” the Commissioner said.