Commissioner visits wounded cop

POLICE Commissioner, Mr. Winston Felix, yesterday assured the policeman who was shot in a gun battle with bandits Sunday night, which the Police Force was concerned about his health and wished him a speedy recovery.

RECOVERING: the wounded Constable Gavin Ricknauth with Commissioner of Police, Mr. Winston Felix during the visit yesterday. (Delano Williams photo)

Felix visited the cop at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The constable, Gavin Ricknauth, is nursing a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the hospital.

FOUND: guns, ammunition and other items found at Success, East Coast Demerara, after the robbery on Sunday night. (Police photo)

Police said he was shot when bandits opened fire on a police patrol that had responded to an armed robbery at Success, East Coast Demerara, on Sunday night at the Chabrols, who own a poultry farm.

One of the bandits, Gopaul Chowtie, of Western Hogg Island, Essequibo River, was hit when the patrol returned fire and died Monday, Police said.

Ricknauth said he only learnt of Chowtie's demise at about 10:00 hrs yesterday.

Police said bandits attacked the Chabrols at about 20:30 hrs Sunday as the family was securing their premises on returning home.

The bandits began to beat the Chabrols and in the process forced them into the house and tied up Mr. Jules Chabrol, police said.

  

They demanded cash and jewellery, which were handed to them. They also relieved the Chabrols of a licenced shotgun and a revolver with matching ammunition.

The police patrol was met with gunfire when it arrived on the scene and returned fire.

Chowtie, who was shot several times, was found the following morning propped up against some bushes and boards on the poultry farm.

Police said he died after being rushed to the GPHC while his accomplice was taken into custody.

Constable Ricknauth was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to remove the bullet that was lodged in his abdomen.

He was yesterday walking around and able to sit on the hospital bed while chatting with the Commissioner and members of the media.

Meanwhile, when asked about the safety of the bulletproof vest the cop was wearing when he was shot, Felix said the vest serves as protective gear for level 3A, that is for handguns, and is not designed for protection against 7.62 rounds.

This question came in wake of Ricknauth's plight when he was fired upon; the bullet pierced the bulletproof vest he was wearing and lodged in his lower abdomen.

The Commissioner said there was no difficulty in upgrading the bulletproof vests but it was difficult for ranks to wear these for 4-6 hours on a patrol.

Weapons, ammunition and other items were found on the scene by the police after they threw an overnight cordon in the area.


Police said G$2.8M, 11 ounces of raw gold and US$1,750 were also found near Chowtie.

A police statement said Chowtie was charged in 1991 for treason and was particularly known to them for piracy on the high seas.

Thursday, April 08, 2004