Lucien Shawn Bembridge is unable to fend for himself as a handyman because of a swollen leg, and the excruciating pain he feels in his chest especially when he speaks.
“Mi feel like a dead mi about fi dead,” he told The Beacon in an exclusive interview last evening.
Things could have been far worse for the resident of Lluidas Vale, St Catherine, who a group of soldiers wearing Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) uniform allegedly kidnapped in a Government vehicle, took to a remote area of Lluidas Vale, beat savagely, and then left in bushes for dead.
Bembridge stated that, out of fear that the soldiers may have him murdered, he has not reported the matter to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), which probes the abuse of civilians by agents of the State.
Bembridge is theorizing that the beating is linked to a run-in he had with an off-duty soldier in the St Catherine community of Point Hill – not far from Lluidas Vale district.
He stated that, while he was walking along the roadway in Point Hill two Saturdays ago, he saw a woman in a yard and asked if he could ‘wash her back’.
Bembridge said a man wearing plain clothes, who he didn’t know is a soldier, appeared and threatened to shoot him over the woman.
“A youth came out and threatened to shoot me for his woman. I said to him ‘mine a di last day yuh sit down pon that step’,” Bembridge recalled.
He further stated that the young man who threatened him in Point Hill seemingly planned with his soldier colleagues to kidnap and beat him in Lluidas Vale.
Bembridge told The Beacon that he was cleaning up a yard in the Tivoli area of Lluidas Vale about 9:30am on January 12 when four men – three in soldier uniform – showed up in a JDF vehicle.
One of the soldiers was the man with whom Bembridge previously had the dispute in Point Hill. He actually was driving the JDF vehicle.
“Dem grab mi and throw mi in the van back,” Bembridge claimed, adding that he initially thought the soldiers would have taken him to the police station in Lluidas Vale. They did not.
When they diverted from the police station and headed towards another community called Top Hill, Bembridge, who is also known as Rubber, became petrified.
“One of the soldiers said to me, ‘Rubber, yuh don’t know anything about me and I am going to show you what I am all about’,” he recalled.
Bembridge said the soldiers took him past all houses in an area of Lluidas Vale known as Camp.
The soldiers parked along the roadway, and one of them reportedly told Bembridge: “Lef off mi vehicle!”
He exited the JDF vehicle and started to walk away.
“When I start to walk away, I hear a youth in the front of the vehicle said, ‘Weh yuh a goh?’ I stand up and, by time I look around, one of them step in mi stomach. Mi drop pon mi back.
“When I was getting up, the youth step in mi stomach again; then another soldier step in mi neck; the next one step in mi waist,” Bembridge further told The Beacon.
He added that a soldier pointed a gun at him, but apparently had a change of mind about shooting.
Bembridge said, when the beating ended, he could hardly walk, adding that he felt pain all over his body. He however mustered enough strength to make an escape bid.
“After they beat mi, they aim a gun after mi and say ‘lif up from yahsoh‘. By the time mi jump in the cane-piece, dem drive weh,” Bembridge said.
The soldiers, who left the area in the JDF vehicle, headed towards Top Hill and away from central Lluidas Vale.
Bembridge, who said he reported the incident to the Shady Grove Police in Lluidas Vale on the same day it happened, is not sure what next to do, especially because he fears the soldiers may have him murdered.
He told The Beacon that he also sought treatment at Linstead Public Hospital in St Catherine, and is scheduled to undergo initial medical examination at a cost of $6,500.
Bembridge said, as a result of the beating, he is unable to earn a living, and he doesn’t know where to find the medical fee.
“The surgery on my stomach and my side will cost $6,500. Mi nuh si the first dollar yet,” added Bembridge who originally is from another community in the Lluidas Vale area, but has been living in Lluidas Vale proper since August last year.
“Right now, mi feel weak, mi stomach weak, every part a mi body feel weak right now,” he further told The Beacon.
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