Abducted girl freed in police operation
-shots fired during car chase
By Nigel Williams
February 27, 2004
A young woman was last night dramatically rescued by policemen after she was abducted from outside the Critchlow Labour College (CLC). Her captors escaped following a bullet-riddled car chase though one might have been injured in the exchange of gunfire.
Narissa Persaud, 18, of Pike Street, Kitty was kidnapped last evening by three armed men just as she exited the CLC compound. An hour later determined police officer intercepted the abductors' car in North Ruimveldt and rescued the young woman who was blindfolded and gagged with duct tape.
Persaud, the daughter of the proprietor of Amatuk Trading Company Ltd, Jhaman Persaud had just completed her evening classes around 6:45 pm and was heading out of the compound when a grey carina with licence plate number PGG 6428 pulled up in front of the college's gate.
She told Stabroek News late last night that she had just reached the college gate when the car pulled up and three armed men bundled her into the back seat.
Persaud told Stabroek that once she was in the car the men duct-taped her hands, and mouth and blindfolded her.
"Then they said don't move! don't say a word! we are not going to hurt you."
The young woman who is a second year student of the Association of Business Executives course said she did not know anything after her eyes were blindfolded and it wasn't until she was rescued from the car in North Ruimveldt she realised where she was.
An eyewitness who is also a student told this newspaper that the abductors seemed to have had good information on Narissa's movements.
"I can't say who they really were. But what I know is that they said they are not going to hurt me and they did not", Narissa said last night.
Eyewitness recalled seeing the men who were all masked in the area shortly before Narrisa was snatched.
According to reports when the car pulled up two men came out and bundled the young woman in the back seat. They fired two shots; one in the direction of the college's security guard and raced off in an easterly direction on Woolford Avenue.
Stabroek News was told that a very senior police officer who is attached to the college was in the compound at the time. The officer informed police ranks as to the direction the car was headed and also gave them its licence number.
Quick reaction by the ranks resulted in them intercepting the car on a street in North Ruimveldt.
Giving an account of the highspeed chase, one officer stationed at Eve Leary told this newspaper that he was convinced that one of the abductors was injured during an exchange of gunfire. The rank reported that when they received the news a contingent armed themselves and proceeded to the college and when told where the car had headed took off after it. According to the ranks all along the streets they kept looking at the number plates of suspicious cars.
He said simultaneously another squad was summoned and they used a different route in the search. The car was finally spotted in North Ruimveldt.
"We saw a suspicious looking car, but when we check it was not the number we were looking for so we drove further up and then we saw the (real) car."
The police rank related that on seeing the police vehicle behind them the abductors made an attempt to reverse but when they realised that they were being pursued they continued to drive, firing shots at the police vehicle.
He believed that it was due to the condition of the road and the fact that the car was very low that caused the men to be trapped on the street. The officer was also of the opinion that the abductors might have been heading to Sophia.
Stabroek News was told that the chase lasted less than a minute and when the abductors realised that they could not outrun the police who were using a pickup, they stopped the car and jumped out leaving the victim in the vehicle.
One of the abductors took off his clothes as he galloped through the street which was partially flooded by the rains yesterday, while the others fired shots at the police who continued to chase after them.
"When them men see us one a dem fire a shot at me luckily my 'squaddie' assisted me in taking evasive action," the policeman related.
He said they returned fire but most of the shots were released in the air as a precautionary measure.
"You see we didn't want to injure the girl and the street had a few people so we couldn't shoot wild," the rank reported.
The abductors eventually disappeared.
The policeman lamented that the vehicle they were using last night was not suitable for such a chase. The man said the vehicle needed repairs, adding that it was bouncing too much last night.
Narissa was rescued from the car around 7:30 pm and transported to the Alberttown Police Station where she gave a statement to the police.
Classes at the college were suspended after the incident as some students abandoned their classes and went home. Among those on the scene were Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar who is also a lecturer at the college and a number of other top officials of the institution.