PORT OF SPAIN –– Eight days after being beaten during a robbery at a Claxton Bay bar, Curtis Pierre, 16, succumbed to his injuries at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital.
Pierre was one of two bandits who held up the PJ’s Recreation Club along Mount Pleasant Road last Tuesday. He died on Tuesday at hospital without regaining consciousness.
Around 2:40 p.m. last Tuesday, there were over a dozen patrons liming at the community watering hole when Pierre and another man, dressed in short-sleeved coveralls, walked into the bar. The unidentified bandit pulled out a gun and began robbing patrons and Chinese national Lui Luo, who operated a gaming machine in the club, of cash and other valuables, while Pierre tried to enter the bar owner Phoolmatie John’s home at the back of the property.
After kicking down the door leading into the house, Pierre was accosted by John’s son, Niben Beepat, 28, and a struggle ensued. Pierre’s accomplice fled the scene, leaving the teen to face the wrath of angry patrons.
Pierre was beaten until he lost consciousness and then police were called in.
Thursday, Pierre’s mother Kendra Commissiong told the T&T Guardian that the patrons and bar owners went too far in dishing out vigilante justice.
“I am not saying what he did was right, but they did not have to beat him so badly,” she said.
“After they hit him the first blow and he fell on the ground they could have called the police. I don’t even know what they beat my son with, all his ears was bust up.”
Commissiong said Pierre, who lived with his mother and 14-year-old brother at Union Village, Claxton Bay, was a student at the Servol Life Centre and described him as loving and caring. She said his sixteenth birthday was last Friday.
“He was my first born child and I knew him as loving and caring, he was very helpful to everyone in the area. He had animals he used to take care of and he had recently started his own kitchen garden. Nobody told him to do those things, he was trying something for himself.”
She said she felt as though her son’s death could have been avoided.
“They are not police, they are not the law . . . he was a human being. I am saying again, I am not giving him right for what he did, but that didn’t give them the right to deal with him like that. I am sure they would have seen how young he was.”
Police sources said an investigation into Pierre’s death will now be conducted to determine whether any charges should be laid against those who beat him.
An autopsy is expected done at the Forensics Science Centre in St James Friday.