A Princes Town man is living in fear after a group of men broke into his house and beat him in front of his wife and two children, accusing him of burning a bridge in the village which left residents marooned.
Luke Phangyou, 32, denied that he set fire to the bridge and pleaded with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to intervene in the matter as he claimed the police were not taking his report seriously.
Last Friday, the wooden bridge near his home, at Buen Intento Road, Gobin Village, was set on fire.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. However, on Tuesday the arsonist returned and finished the job.
The bridge has been cordoned off as it is now impassable. Speaking with Guardian Media on Tuesday, Phangyou showed the bruises to his back and shoulder.
“My whole head, my two legs swollen. All my back have injuries. They drag me on the ground beat me with wood on my head.
They threaten my wife and children and they say if I call the police they going to shooting my house.”
Phangyou said the attack had nothing to do with the fire but stemmed from a report he made against one of the men for harassing and threatening him.
Guardian Media spoke to one of the men accused of the incident but he denied beating Phangyou.
Recalling the incident, Phangyou, a woodworker, said on Friday night while he and his wife, Seema Ramgobin, 26, were at home with their children when they saw a fire brigade and a police vehicle by the bridge.
At that time they thought the officers were responding to an accident. They put their daughters, ages eight and nine months, to sleep and then retired to bed. However, around 2 am on Saturday they were awakened by loud cursing and noises.
Phangyou said six men broke his door and ran into his house.
“They asking me if I light the bridge on fire and they start to beat me non-stop with all kind of thing and anything they get in their hand on.
They start beating me uncontrollably. After I run across the road by my mother-in-law and they run behind me and they start to beat me inside the yard.” He said the beating only stopped when the villagers came out.
“They wanted to kill me.”
Ramgobin, a housewife, said the men began pelting bottles as they entered the house.
“I start to beg for them to stop. All inside the bed was bottle. The children were crying.”
She said one of the men tried to block her as she was fleeing the house with her children. Ramgobin says she suffers from a heart condition and her heart swells when she is stressed. “Right now I have pain in my chest. I cannot take pressure.”
Phangyou said he made a report at the Princes Town Station on Saturday and returned on Monday.
“While the police was taking the statement I ask him if I could get to see the senior and he just forget about my report completely.”
He said the officer told him to return on Tuesday night to complete his statement, but he has no transport and taxis hardly work in that area at night.
Phangyou said he is afraid for the safety of himself and his family. When contacted a senior officer assured that once a report is made it is investigated by the police. He promised to look into the matter.
Reporter: Sascha Wilson