A former security guard at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, who was wounded as police attempted to apprehend prison escapee Allan “Scanny” Martin, almost exactly four years ago, has filed a lawsuit against the State for compensation.
In the assault and battery lawsuit, filed in the Port-of-Spain High Court, lawyers representing Antia Bartholomew claimed that police officers acted negligently and recklessly when they allegedly attempted to apprehend Martin.
In her statement of case, which was obtained by Guardian Media, Bartholomew’s lawyers sought to give a synopsis of what she claimed transpired on July 24, 2015.
According to Bartholomew, she was on her way to purchase lunch at the hospital when she stopped at the security booth.
Bartholomew was alerted when she saw two co-workers run into the booth. They then told her that there was an escape at the Port-of-Spain State Prison and one of the prisoners was on the hospital compound.
After hiding for a short time, Bartholomew’s colleagues ran outside and she attempted to follow them.
“Bartholomew exited the guard booth and as she did so, she was grabbed by the escaped prisoner by the name of Allan “Scanny” Martin and taken back inside,” the document stated.
Bartholomew claimed that Martin was unarmed and simply held on to her while police officers surrounding the booth.
“Without any warning or any attempt at negotiation to pacify the situation, the aforementioned police officers opened fire, shooting through the windows of the guard booth,” the document stated.
Her lawyers claimed that at the time, Martin’s back was turned to the officers and he was hugging Bartholomew.
They claimed that Bartholomew shouted at the officers to stop shooting because Martin was unarmed but they ignored her and continued.
“At no point in time, did Martin shoot at the police officers. At no point in time, was Martin a threat to Bartholomew in any way. At no point in time, was Martin a threat to the police officers,” the document stated.
Bartholomew was warded at the hospital for four days before she was discharged. She was eventually diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the lawsuit, Bartholomew’s lawyers are contending that the officers breached the T&T Police Service (TTPS) Use of Deadly Force policy as they claim that there was no imminent danger of death and they (the officers) did not do a reasonable assessment of the prevailing circumstances before they opened fire on Martin and her.
According to reports, around midday on the date of the incident, Martin, Hassan Atwell and Christopher “Monster” Selby allegedly shot their way out of the prison, located along Frederick Street.
PC Sherman Maynard, who was stationed outside the prison, was killed during the incident, while prison officer Leon Rouse was shot and wounded.
Martin, who was at the time on trial for the kidnapping and murder of businessman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman, was killed during the incident at the hospital while Atwell was found murdered after hiding out for several days in east Port-of-Spain.
Shortly after Atwell’s death, Selby surrendered to police and was charged with ten offences including Maynard’s murder.
Bartholomew is being represented by Tim Charriandy and Reynold Waldropt.
Reporter: Derek Achong