“No one has any right to mistreat a lady.”
It was that strong belief that spurred Naru Restaurant employee Kevin Payne into action after he heard piercing screams coming from the Richard Haynes boardwalk, along the island’s south coast, on Monday night.
After giving chase, Payne discovered that the screams were those of British tourists Jena Elhusainie and her daughter Dana Chowdhry.
“I just wanted to help because I heard screams and I knew for a fact that they were screams for help and they were coming from a lady,” Payne told Barbados TODAY.
His fears were soon realized as he would discover that the women were victims of a robbery and worse yet, that the visibly distraught Elhusainie had been stabbed in the neck with a piece of wood by her attacker.
The horrifying incident, which occurred around 8:25 p.m., would end in Payne wrestling the alleged robber to the ground, with the support of three colleagues who also came to the rescue of the two women.
“All the time I was studying we’re going to the scene and I don’t know if these guys have guns or anything like that because you know, that’s how it goes nowadays,” said Nico Hudson, an assistant manager at Naru Restaurant, who realizing that Payne, who is one of his staff members, had given chase, was not about to let him do it alone.
Two other colleagues, Jabari Worrell and Joseph Grazette, also came forward and offered to help.
“I just felt that in a situation like that, me and the guys work together for a good couple of years, and we’re all staff so we’re all family,” Grazette told Barbados TODAY, as he recalled the terrible ordeal which has left the two British visitors quite shaken.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited their hotel this afternoon, Elhusainie, who suffers from arthritis and vertigo, was resting in her room at the Radisson Aquatica ahead of her scheduled departure from the island this evening.
Chowdhry told Barbados TODAY she and her mother were left traumatised by the incident, but they are remaining positive. She also sang the praises of the four men who rescued them.
“They are my heroes. Kevin in particular . . . without him I don’t know what situation we would be in because at the end of the day we got justice,” she said in reference to their attacker, who has been identified as 53-year-old Trevor Agard of no fixed place of abode.
Today, Agard appeared in the District A Magistrate’s Court where he was jailed for two and a half years after pleading guilty to charges of robbery, wounding and occasioning actual bodily harm.
While also expressing gratitude to the doctors who attended to her mother, Chowdhry said they were lucky they received help when they did.
“Dr Linton had to inject local anaesthetic into my mum’s neck, she’s got very sensitive skin, and cut the piece of wood out. It was about four to five centimetres deep. It was not an easy procedure and he made it look flawless, and he saved the day. Because they said if it was a centimetre deeper or to the left or the right it would have been fatal,” Chowdhry said.
Despite the harrowing experience, Chowdhry said they will return for a second visit.
“We’ve been to the fish festival, we’re taking the vans here and there. We wanted to really immerse ourselves into the culture and the people, we didn’t want to just come here and stay a resort. It’s easy to do that but we wanted to see the people,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism has issued a stern warning that crimes against tourists and locals will not be tolerated.
“We want to say also to people out there who are thinking along those lines that they could go and try to rob visitors and so on, we’re not going to tolerate it. We will catch them and they will get, as you say, justice,” said consultant in the Ministry of Tourism, Hugh Foster, who visited Chowdhry at her hotel this afternoon.
Foster also hailed the four men, who came to the visitors’ rescue, as heroes and role models.
“What they did was certainly the stuff of role models who would have gone out of their way to assist two women in need . . . they actually caught this perpetrator and held him there as I understand it, until the police got there,” he said.