PORT OF SPAIN –– A gun-toting bandit yesterday morning felt the wrath of a 57-year-old father who preferred to die rather than to have his Moruga home violated. The middle-aged citizen “rained” chops with a cutlass on the armed intruder forcing him to abandon his weapon and flee the house, bleeding and almost barefooted having left one of his slippers behind.
“I kept thinking to myself that this man came to kill us,” Rupert Ayres told Newsday as he related how he was confronted during the pre-dawn hours yesterday by the intruder who was armed with a 16-gauge shotgun.
“I wanted to kill him and take off his mask and show the world who he was . . . . So I kept pelting chops at him,” Ayres said.
The drama began at 2:20 a.m. when Ayres, who was in bed with his 11-year-old son Keylon, was awakened by the sound of a front door latch being unlocked.
“I heard like the door was opening and I just jumped up and sat on the bed listening,” Ayres said.
“There was silence after the latch opened and I could feel like someone was already in the house,” Ayres said. “Without hesitation I carefully reached for my cutlass which was under my bed.”
Ayres said that for a few seconds there was absolute silence until he heard a creak as if someone had stepped on the wooden flooring in front of his bedroom.
“I knew for sure there was someone in my house who came to rob or kill us, and I was not going to allow that,” he said.
As the masked gunman was about to enter the bedroom, Ayres was already prepared.
“I could see his shadow from inside the bedroom but he could not see me,” Ayres said. “I was about to kill him. As he was about to open the curtain, I shouted, ‘You are not going to kill us!’.”
With these words, Ayres began swinging his cutlass at the man, succeeding in chopping him on different parts of his body. The house remained in darkness.
“I lured him out of the bedroom and away from my son and I just kept aiming chops at him,” Ayres said, adding that the intruder wore a white mask and was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. Ayres said the bandit used his shotgun to fend off the chops. “I was not going to stop until he was dead. I am telling you . . . . I wanted this man dead,” Ayres said. He managed to chop the bandit several times before the intruder jumped through a glass window in the living room.
“He headed straight for the glass louvres and jumped,” Ayres related. “He just went through the louvres and landed in a drain.”
The distance from the window to the drain is approximately eight feet.
“When I looked outside, it was still dark but I could see him running out of my yard into the road,” he said.
During the scuffle, the bandit’s rubber slippers fell off his feet. The intruder’s shotgun was found inside the drain.
“I am not a rich person,” Ayres told Newsday. “I had $25 on me and that is all. So you break in my house to kill me and my son and for what? $25? This is madness,” he said.
Ayres says he is still in shock over the incident saying this was his first brush with crime in the 25 years he had lived in Douglas Trace, St Mary’s Village, Moruga.
“I know how bad crime has reached in this country because everyone wants a free meal and rather thief and kill to get it. But I didn’t think crime would have reached inside my home.”
Police believe the intruder was chopped several times, and have called on all medical institutions to report anyone seeking treatment for chop wounds.
The shotgun has since been sent to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for tests. Investigations are continuing.