New Amsterdam police question taxi-driverís abduction story
By Daniel Da Costa
November 2, 2003
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The police are questioning a taxi-driverís account of being abducted last week Monday in New Amsterdam.
The driver had initially reported to the police that he was en route to lot 41 Stanleytown to drop off a female passenger at around 11:45 am but stopped to pick up four men at the junction of Philadelphia Street and Republic Road. According to the driver the men then hijacked the car and forced him to drive along a desolate access road in Stanleytown on the south-eastern edge of the town.
The men he claimed then beat him and the woman and stole a tape deck and a transmission set from the car.
However, the police now believe that the driver did not work that day and was not hijacked.
According to reliable sources close to the investigation the driver did not pick up the four men as claimed. The man and the female passenger were apparently attacked in the car which was parked on the desolate road by a group of young men. The men, according to investigators, beat and robbed the couple before escaping into the nearby cane fields.
The driver had initially told the police that the men had only taken the tape deck and the radio set. However, he has since told investigators that he was relieved of cash and a ring.
On the day of the incident, the police had found the passenger in a state of semi-consciousness in a nearby ditch and she was taken to the New Amsterdam hospital. Sources at the hospital confirmed that both the driver and the passenger were admitted to the institution for treatment as a result of injuries they suffered. They were released from the hospital a few days later.
The driverís report had triggered widespread concern among Berbicians that hijackings which have been troubling the city and its environs in recent times might be drifting eastwards.
Meanwhile, last Wedne-sday night alarms were raised across New Amsterdam as word spread that another hijacking had taken place on Main Street during a power outage.
However, the report was debunked by the police following an investigation.
Commander of ĎBí Division, Assistant Commis-sioner Paul Slowe told this newspaper that the report was sparked by a minor traffic accident involving a hire-car and a cyclist.
According to Slowe, the cyclist was accidentally hit while the driver was reversing.
A heated argument developed and the driver attempted to drive off. The cyclist reportedly jumped into the car in an attempt to prevent the driver from leaving the scene, resulting in the car ending up in a nearby ditch.