Three vendors arrested following assault on customer at Stabroek Market
court hearing imminent

Kaieteur News
January 30, 2007

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Three vendors were arrested by ranks of the City Constabulary yesterday following reports of an attack on a customer in the Stabroek Market Bazaar on Friday.

Deputy Clerk of Markets, Mr. Errol Brisport confirmed the arrest and revealed that the vendors will be taken to court today or tomorrow following investigations into the assault matter.

He disclosed that the vendors were taken into custody by the officers and were being held at the Constabulary headquarters pending their court appearance.

The vendors allegedly on Friday both verbally and physically attacked 47-year-old Sumitra Brown of Atlantic Garden , East Coast Demerara.

Brown had made a report to Brisport who advised her to make a formal report at the Constabulary office in the market before seeking a medical at the Georgetown Public Hospital .

Brisport had also promised to address the matter in collaboration with the City Constabulary.

The woman had related her ordeal to this newspaper and claims that she is traumatised and in a state of depression as a result.

Brisport pointed out that Brown's medical, in addition to the findings from the investigation, will serve as evidence against the vendors.

He pointed out too that should the vendors plead guilty, Brown will not have to attend court to testify against them.

Prior to the arrest yesterday, Brisport had informed this newspaper that efforts are being made to uncover the identity of all the alleged perpetrators.

Brisport revealed that with the assistance of officers from the City Constabulary he had launched an investigation into the alleged assault.

As such, he noted that as soon as the identities of the vendors in question are known, he intends to sit them down and listen to their versions of the story before any disciplinary measures are instituted.

He notes that if the vendors are found guilty of assaulting Brown, they will be suspended from selling in the Bazaar for a significant period and will be placed before the court.

Disciplinary actions against the vendors, according to Brisport, will serve as a warning to other vendors who may think they could get away with such behaviours in the market environs.

He further asserted that such behaviours cannot be tolerated with Cricket World Cup (CWC) so near, since he would not want any reports of tourists being meted out any violent acts by vendors.

The Deputy Clerk of Markets noted that every effort is being made to ensure that the market is ready for CWC and therefore the actions of a few irresponsible vendors will not be permitted to mar the image of market.

Clerk of Markets, Mr Schulder Griffith, in an invited comment, said that the market's management will ensure that customers and other people accessing the market are able to do so safely.

While Griffith was not fully aware of the incident, he admitted that some vendors in that section of the market are often considered to be somewhat quarrelsome.

The victim had informed this newspaper of her ordeal and noted that she would also be seeking the assistance of the Human Services Minister to prevent a recurrence of similar actions.

Brown, a physically challenged woman, claims that she was attacked after stepping on a piece of cardboard while attempting to make her way to the fish pond to make a purchase.

A distraught Brown told Kaieteur News that she was even accused of punching one of her attackers, an act she noted is impossible as a result of a disability she sustained after being burnt some years ago.

Brown said all she needs is to see justice prevail since she is a Guyanese and should be safe to traverse a public place without fear of being attacked by anyone for no apparent reason.