Police probe pepper spray incident at UWI

Po­lice of­fi­cers were called in to deal with a sit­u­a­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of the West In­dies' St Au­gus­tine cam­pus on Wednes­day af­ter a male stu­dent pep­per sprayed a fe­male class­mate fol­low­ing an ar­gu­ment over a group project.

The fe­male stu­dent was tak­en to the Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex (EWM­SC) for treat­ment. She was even­tu­al­ly dis­charged.

The pep­per spray in­ci­dent oc­curred around 5 pm on Wednes­day at the cam­pus' Teach­ing and Learn­ing Com­plex (TLC).

UWI se­cu­ri­ty ques­tioned the sus­pect and he was tak­en to the St Joseph Po­lice Sta­tion for ques­tion­ing be­fore he was even­tu­al­ly re­leased.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the sus­pect and his vic­tim were part of a group project to­geth­er. The sus­pect ac­cused his class­mate of pla­gia­rism.

The ar­gu­ment es­ca­lat­ed to a phys­i­cal con­fronta­tion be­tween the two.

Dur­ing the con­fronta­tion the sus­pect pulled out the pep­per spray and used it on the vic­tim. The vic­tim was sprayed in her face.

An­oth­er fe­male stu­dent was al­so in­jured dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

Af­ter about four hours at the St Joseph Po­lice Sta­tion the sus­pect was re­leased with­out charge.

Pep­per spray is cur­rent­ly il­le­gal in this coun­try ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 2 of the Firearms Act of 1971 Chap­ter 16:01 which makes it un­law­ful for per­sons to car­ry "any weapon of what­ev­er de­scrip­tion or de­sign which is adapt­ed for the dis­charge of any nox­ious liq­uid gas or oth­er sub­stances".

Reporter: Joel Julien

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