Tourist attackers held after chases
Monday, April 17th 2006
A Dane, who only arrived in Guyana on Saturday, was yesterday attacked and robbed by three men on Wellington Street but the muggers were all caught and handed over to the police in dramatic circumstances.
It was close to chaos outside of CNS Channel Six and Freedom House on Robb Street after word got out that a man had just been robbed nearby.
The man, who gave his name as LB Vestergaard of Aarhus, told Stabroek News that he was part of a tour group from Denmark. He said that the party left their Cara Lodge location yesterday morning to tour the city. However, when they were at the St George's Cathedral the man broke away from the group and decided to go it alone and take some photographs.
It was while he was walking just past the notorious `Globe Yard' on Waterloo Street that the three choke-and-robbers attacked him from the back.
"They grab my neck and wanted to strangle me, and take my wallet," the flustered looking man told Stabroek News.
According to persons in the area, after the men robbed the Dane one of them ran in the vicinity of the 'Globe Yard' while the other two scampered off in different directions along Robb Street. The elderly Dane gave chase after one of the men and while he was running he asked passers-by to stop the mugger. They said at times it was difficult to understand what the man was saying as he would slip into his native language.
A man doing business at CNS Channel Six said he ran behind the Dane and stopped him as he appeared to be on the verge of collapsing and at the same time a Robb Street resident came out with a gun and stopped the alleged thief. The man said he took both the victim and the alleged thief into the lobby area of CN Sharma's business.
When Stabroek News arrived on the scene the victim was seen walking around the lobby in an obviously traumatised state. The man was holding onto the alleged thief and holding off an angry crowd that had gathered in front of the building and who wanted the thief to be handed over to them. One woman was seen with a long wire attempting to hit the man from outside while shouting, "...you all just want to give Guyana bad name, come out hey leh we deal with you."
The victim told Stabroek News that the man who was being held was indeed one of the men who robbed him. He said the men robbed him of $4,000 and some personal documents along with Danish train tickets. According to one eyewitness as the man was being robbed he held on tightly to his digital camera which was around his neck. When Stabroek News spoke to him the camera was still around his neck and he even used it to take a photograph of one of the alleged thieves.
Shortly after the alleged thief was held, CN Sharma, leader of the Justice For All Party and proprietor of CNS Channel Six, entered his lobby and interviewed the victim. He also interrogated the alleged thief asking him where the other two men were as he was interested in ensuring that the man's wallet was returned. He then took the victim and the alleged thief to the nearby PPP Headquarters, Freedom House and while he was barred from entering the building the victim and the alleged thief were allowed in. Another of the alleged thieves had also been apprehended and taken to Freedom House. That thief appeared to have been beaten as his face was swollen and the victim said positively that he was another of the men who had robbed him. The police were contacted and a police car drove to 'Globe Yard' where the third alleged thief was caught. He was brought to Freedom House escorted by policemen and a large crowd, some of whom had assisted in apprehending him.
The victim was then placed in the front seat of the bus while his three alleged attackers, looking sheepish as the large crowd taunted them, were placed at the back of the bus with the lawmen.
A fourth man was also arrested but it is not clear if he was also part of the mugging party. Vestergaard told Stabroek News that he was leaving Guyana today and upon his return he would advise his fellow countrymen not to visit the land of many waters.
"I was walking peacefully and they just come and attack me," the man lamented.
It is not clear if he got back his wallet but late yesterday afternoon Stabroek News was told he was back at the hotel resting.