Mystery surrounds abduction of men
One leapt from car on Mandela Avenue By Samantha Alleyne
October 27, 2003
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Mystery gunmen abducted two young men on Friday night but one of them leapt dramatically from a car on Mandela Avenue and later contacted his family.
Yesterday, relatives of the two men, 24-year-old Phillip Sergeant of Lot 6 Joseph Pollydore Street, Lodge and 23-year-old Andre Ettienna of `C’ Field, Sophia were worried about their whereabouts and are calling on the police to diligently investigate their disappearance. The police force could not be contacted yesterday by Stabroek News for an official statement on the reported abductions.
Sergeant contacted his relatives a few hours after he was seized from his home but they have not heard from him since. His father yesterday said that he suspects that his son might have gone into hiding but is still very anxious as he has not heard from him since 4:30 am on Saturday.
Sergeant was abducted from his home at around 10 pm by two men who claimed that they were police. Around the same time Ettienna also called `Jay Man’ or `Fya’ was forced into a white car by two masked gunmen while `liming’ with some friends on Norton Street. His relatives have not heard from him since.
Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Sergeant’s father, whose name is also Phillip, said that he was not at home when his son was taken but received a call from his wife informing him of what had transpired.
He said that his wife related to him that his daughter-in-law was in the yard at the time. As the young woman was going up the stairs she saw two men running into the yard. One was masked and had a pump action gun and the other was unmasked and was armed with a “short gun”. They shouted out that they were policemen and raced up the stairs where they met the younger Sergeant who was at the door waiting for his wife.
The men approached Sergeant and asked him if his name wasn’t ‘Nut Head’ and when he replied in the negative they told him that they heard he was the man. They then asked him if he had a younger brother who attended the Government Technical Institute (GTI) and he again responded in the negative. Undaunted, the two gunmen informed the man that he was wanted for questioning at Eve Leary and he would have to go with them. They then took the man out of the yard and forced him into dark green car which according to relatives had no number plate.
The father said after receiving the news he visited Eve Leary, the Brickdam Police Station and the East La Penitence Police Station in search of his son but he was told that his son was not there.
He said when he related the incident to some police officers they told him that the men were not policemen because first and foremost policemen don’t wear masks.
The man said that as he was returning from East La Penitence he saw a crowd at the corner of Joseph Pollydore Street and Mandela Avenue and was told that his son had escaped from the vehicle and was fired upon.
The man said it was around 4:30 am when he received a call from his son who told him that while in the car one of the men called someone from his cellular phone and told the person that he had gotten a man but the man was claiming that he was not the one.
The son related to his father that the other man, who was the driver of the vehicle, told the other one that they should “go and do deh thing.”
On hearing this, the kidnapped man suspected that the men might want to shoot him and as such when he saw a crowd at the corner of Joseph Pollydore and Mandela Avenue he opened the car door and jumped out. He was fired upon as he ran away. The police later picked up spent shells from the area. The man’s father said his son did not say if he was hurt.
At Lot 64 Joseph Pollydore Street where the sister of Andre Ettienna lives, relatives were worried about the man. His sister, Sharon Waldron, said that the last time she saw her brother was earlier Friday night when he informed her that he was going to visit a friend in Lodge.
She said that later that night she was awakened by two men, who said they were her brother’s friends. They informed her that they were sitting on Norton Street with her brother when a white car approached them. The friends told her that the car stopped and two masked men with guns emerged and body searched all of them after which they forced her brother into the car and drove away.
The sister said that she visited the area where her brother was sitting and although persons were reluctant to speak they revealed the same story telling her that they did not want anything to do with the police. She said that a woman told her that when she saw the men she quickly left the area but observed that the men placed her brother in the car.
The sister said that when she visited the East La Penitence Police Station and reported the matter the police told her that they have to get statements from the eyewitnesses. However, the sister said that no one, including her brother’s friends, was willing to speak to the police.
Yesterday afternoon the woman reported that policemen visited her home and enquired whether she had heard from her brother. She told them no and they told her to return to the station today to make another report.
Both families are alarmed at the fact that armed masked men can just pick up young men and bundle them into vehicles. They both said that neither of the young men was involved in anything illegal.
Sergeant said that his son is a tailor who works very hard, adding that a few months ago the police constantly harassed his son but after he took him into some senior police officers who said he was not wanted for anything, the harassment stopped.
“I am not saying that the men who took my son are policemen but they claimed that they were,” the man said.
Ettienna’s sister said that her brother is a clothes vendor who trades between Suriname and Guyana. His mother resides in Suriname.
Yesterday residents of the area said they were very upset at what has been happening in their community. They said that because one of Guyana’s most notorious criminals, who has since been killed, came from that area policemen are always running into homes and terrorising citizens. One man said that he was forced to visit the Minister of Home Affairs to stop the harassment by policemen.