Pastor and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) election candidate in the Ewarton Division of St. Catherine North West, Dr. Dean Reid, is still reeling from an incident in which he was stabbed in the face and his licensed firearm stolen by a masked gunman, who attacked him at his Ewarton home Wednesday evening, January 12.
Dr. Reid, who also lectures at the University of Technology, was treated at hospital and released. Yesterday, he said he was “not in a state of mind” to speak with the press.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said the incident happened about 8:15pm on Wednesday, adding that a detective at Linstead Police Station is now probing.
Reports are that Dr. Reid had just returned home and exited his vehicle when he was surprised by a man armed with what turned out to be a homemade firearm.
A tussle developed between the two.
Dr. Reid reportedly drew his licensed firearm, but ended up falling after being stabbed in the face. The intruder reportedly took the clergyman’s gun and left the area with it. It is said that he left his home-made firearm at the scene, and it eventually was handed over to the police.
Chairman of the JLP election machinery in St. Catherine North West, Newton Amos, who also is a retired cop, condemned the attack.
“Pastor Reid is recovering okay, but he is totally distraught,” Amos told The Beacon when contacted. “The Dr. Reid incident pains my heart,” he emphasized.
Amos, at this time, does not think the incident was politically motivated. “I am not ruling out anything, but I don’t see a connection. If it was politically motivated, it would be more organized… I know a lot of people are going to jump to that, and I don’t want to escalate any fear out there of that,” he further said.
What the incident clearly shows is that criminals respect no one, Amos opined.
“I can’t see why anyone would have targeted Mr Reid; he is a person that the entire community regards as a respectable person and a community builder and a nation builder,” he said. “It just shows clearly the criminality, and that these criminals are no respecters of person.”
The criminal attack, in the meantime, brings back memories of the series of armed robberies reported in Ewarton in the latter part of 2021.
On September 17 last year, gunmen robbed a 60-year-old woman of approximately $518,000 at her home on Nugent Road in Ewarton. The woman had just returned home from the bank with the cash. It is understood that she had persons doing construction work at her home.
In another robbery, which happened on September 27, four gunmen robbed a woman of her Toyota Axio motorcar, $36,000 cash, and other personal belongings at Price Lane – not far from Ewarton Primary School. The woman had just returned home when the criminals pounced upon her at her gate.
Furthermore, on October 21, four men on two motorcycles carried out a robbery at Coghiel Road near Ewarton High School. They escaped with at least $200,000 despite being hit from their motorcycles during the victim’s frantic effort to nab them. Their two bikes eventually were seized by law enforcers.
Since then, it appeared there was a lull in robberies in Ewarton.
On December 20 last year, commanding officer for the St. Catherine North Police Division where Ewarton is located, Senior Superintendent Howard Chambers, noted that there was a downward trend.
At that time, he told The Beacon: “[My officers]mentioned that, some time earlier in this quarter, they had some incidents of robbery but they have been seeing a downward trend. We have been proactive with that. I don’t want to talk much, but we are getting information that we have been acting upon. And probably those robbers, so to speak, have been displaced into a wider area that we also will be focusing on.”
The focus, as made clear by the Dr. Reid incident, cannot be shifted from Ewarton just yet. Amos yesterday lamented that, when the Ewarton police were informed about the incident that happened Wednesday, their response was less than desired.
“How this could have happened and the police station that is five minutes away from where the incident took place was never in a position to respond?” he asked.
Amos, however, noted: “It is difficult for the police to be everywhere; the police cannot be everywhere. That’s why the citizen has to be involved, and the only institution that can mobilize people in that way is the State.”
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