A Campden Park man is at home with his feet in casts after police reportedly shot him in both of his insteps and in his thigh six hours after apprehending him for an alleged burglary.
Roydel Solomon, 25, told iWitness News on Monday that police removed him from the Colonarie Police Station, drove him to a mountain area and shot him three times, while threatening to kill him.
The incident occurred in Colonarie two weeks ago and a video that appeared on social media then, shows Solomon being restrained by a plainclothes police officer while civilians threatened to kill him.
“Man gi’ the man some gun butt,” one off-camera voice says.
The police officer says nothing to the civilians even as they beat the man, who was not resisting.
And, in the five-minute video, it was the civilians, rather than the police officer, who told other civilians not to move or touch items that Solomon had allegedly stolen from a house in the area.
The officer placed Solomon to kneel on the ground at which point a civilian slapped the accused thief.
At one point, Solomon moved suddenly in the direction of recording device, apparently in an attempt to escape.
A woman shouted “Aye! Aye!” and a man says “Ah now yo’ gine geh licks.”
The man calls to someone to bring a cutlass with which to chop off Solomon’s hand.
A woman is also heard saying, “You ah try fight e police!?”
The video was rather shaky during this period, with the lens of the recording device blocked at points.
However, when the recording steadied, the police officer is still collaring Solomon and civilians were repeatedly beating him.
A man again calls for someone to bring a cutlass with which to behead the suspected burglar.
At one point, a woman appeals to the others, telling them, “Don’t do that.”
She advises someone to take off their belt and use it as a handcuff.
The officer had earlier said that he did not have handcuffs with him, adding that his colleague, who, apparently was elsewhere, had the restraining device.
The police officer restrains Solomon as the civilian uses the belt to tie his hands.
In the video, Solomon repeatedly says that he had not entered the house, but declined to say who were “the other rest man and dem” as the police officer and civilians asked.
Solomon told iWitness News that he had been in Kingstown around 10:30 p.m. on March 30 and was unable to get a van home.
While in the city, he saw “Blacks”, a man who he had known for about three years, drive by in a car.
Solomon said Blacks told him he could get a ride to Campden Park, but that he was going out to the countryside along with another man who was in the car, to pick up some items at the man’s girlfriend’s house.
He said that they stopped at Drop Off Night Club for about an hour before going on to what he was told is Colonarie.
The man said that he is not too familiar with the windward side of St. Vincent, north of Argyle.
He told iWitness News that in Colonarie, Blacks parked the car in an area where there was a gap on the left and another on the right side of the road.
He said Blacks told him that he and the other man were going along one of the gap to collect the items from the man’s girlfriend’s house.
Solomon told iWitness News that he took advantage of the opportunity to roll and smoke a marijuana cigarette.
He said he went across the road where there was a bus shed and sat there doing so.
He said that a few minutes later, the other man returned, carrying a flat screen television, and a black bag.
The man placed the items next to the bus shed and also gave him two cell phones and a charger and a gold chain and asked him to hold them.
Solomon said man told him that he was going to help Blacks with another bag as he had fallen out with his girlfriend.
A few minutes later, after the man had left, Solomon said, he heard what sounded like three gunshots.
He said he lay flat on the ground and was doing so when someone approached with a flashlight, shone it on him and asked what he was doing there.
Solomon said he asked the person who he was and he responded that he was a police officer.
He said the police officer said that he was responding to a call that there were men wearing masks in the area.
The police officer took him into a yard along the gap, Solomon said, and began calling out to the residents, asking them if had missed any of their possessions.
He said a man came out and said that the television is his.
Solomon said that the officer then told him that he (Solomon) has to be one of the men who were allegedly wearing masks in the area.
He said he told the officer that he was not but that he had come to the area with a friend and another man who had said they were coming to collect things from the man’s girlfriend.
Solomon told iWitness News that he told the officer that he would cooperate with them and disclose Blacks’ identity.
He, however, said that the officer slapped him and struck him with the butt of his gun and residents of the area joined in and began beating him.
Solomon said that the residents also threatened to chop off his neck and feet and when things began to get out of hand, the officer called a colleague for back up.
Solomon said that he was taken to the Colonarie Police Station around 2 p.m.
He said that he is a type 2 epileptic and his seizures can be triggered if he is struck in the head.
While at the police station, he began getting a seizure and a female officer called the Georgetown Police Station, asking for assistance in transporting him to the hospital.
About 8 a.m., a squad that had left the Colonarie Police Station earlier returned and they began to beat him, Solomon said.
He said that the female officer intervened, telling them that he had been getting a seizure earlier on.
Solomon told iWitness News that the officers placed him in the police vehicle saying they were going to take him to Georgetown.
He, however, said that instead, the officers drove to an area and picked up one Corporal Tittle, whom he knew from Tittle’s time at Questelles Police station.
Solomon said that the officers drove him to a mountain area and ordered him to come out of the vehicle.
He said he asked why he was taken there, noting that he had already offered to cooperate with the police.
Solomon said that the officer dragged him from the vehicle and beat him then Tittle shot him in both insteps and in the left thigh.
He said that the officer then took him to the Georgetown Police Station and left him there with one officer to guard him.
Solomon said he was transferred to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he spent three days, before being discharged.
After being discharged, he was taken to the Georgetown police station, where he was charged with two counts of assaulting Corporal Shem Nanton, of Colonarie, and one count of resisting his arrest.
Solomon said he appeared before a magistrate in Georgetown, where he pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Later that day, he was taken before the same court, charged with three counts of burglary.
Solomon was granted EC$5,000 bail.