Man says he was abducted, shot, put in trunk By Kim Lucas and Oscar P. Clarke
Stabroek News
August 16, 2002

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City resident Colin Hooper was kidnapped by three unmasked men late Wednesday night, shot twice and locked in the trunk of his car on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.

The 25-year-old Hooper, a self-employed father of three, told relatives yesterday that he pretended to be dead after being shot in the face. His attackers then locked him in the trunk of his green `Marino', PHH 2601.

But Hooper managed to free himself, stumble to the roadway and flag down a car only to be shot at by his attackers, he told friends and relatives.

Bleeding profusely, the man said he managed to roll down a sand hill and sought help from residents in the area. At that hour of the morning, Hooper said the occupants of one of the houses mistook him for a thief and launched a cutlass attack.

He was reportedly `broadsided' until residents were convinced that he was, in fact, telling the truth about being kidnapped. The police were then contacted and Hooper was subsequently taken to a city hospital, where up to press time last night, he remained in a stable condition.

Hooper's brother, Anand Bandhu told Stabroek News yesterday that the young man was braced against his car at about 9.30 pm on Wednesday, chatting with friends in Leopold Street, Georgetown, when the three men pounced.

Eyewitnesses say that the men, armed with guns, approached from the direction of Hadfield Street, walked up to Hooper and pushed him into his own car before driving away in the vehicle.

"Three men came out with gun. Dem man hold he, push he in the car and drive off. He was standing by the car talking. One tell the other, `Put de man in de car and leh we go long.' He [Hooper] and two went in the back seat and one was driving," one person told this newspaper.

After kidnapping him, the men used Hooper's cellular phone to contact one of his friends and demand a ransom of $400,000. They told the friend to drop the money on the Demerara Harbour Bridge, but when the man turned up, the kidnappers were no where to be seen.

This newspaper understands that the kidnappers kept asking Hooper's friend to ride further and further along the East Bank Demerara Public Road. After reaching a certain point, the man stopped and returned to the city.

At about 2:30 am, `Buck' went to a popular night spot on Sheriff Street and dialled Hooper's number.

"When he call back the people, dem man ask, `Is who?' `Buck' say, `Is me.' Dem man ask he how far he deh and `Buck' seh he deh pon Sheriff Street. One of them turn and tell he, `Oh, you deh pon Sheriff Street? Is you next!'"

That was the last communication with the kidnappers. Hooper told relatives that after that 2:30 am call, his assailants told him that `Buck' was playing them for a fool.

"He begging them to give him one more call, because he wanted to call his sister," Hooper's brother reported. Apparently, the kidnappers denied Hooper's request and, instead, one of the men pointed a gun to his head and fired. But Hooper turned his head and was shot in the side of the face. The men then threw him into the trunk of his own car and left.

Because of the make of the car, Hooper was able to crawl into the back seat, from the trunk. After he escaped from the car, Hooper attempted to flag down an approaching car, but realised too late that it was his kidnappers, Bandhu said.

"It was the same men again and dem man start opening fire pon he. That was how he get knock in he foot. He run in a bush and [hide]," Bandhu claimed.

He added that his brother, after managing to evade his attackers, sought help from residents in the area and there he encountered the third attack.

"He get mostly `broadside'. He managed to shout that he get kidnap and them [the residents] shouting that he was a thief. But afterwards, they call the police and carry he to de hospital."

Hooper's relatives were contacted at about 5.30 am with the news of the young man's fate.