The parents of the man, who is currently in police custody assisting with investigations into the death of 52-year-old Tyrone McDonald Babb of Goodland Main Road, St Michael, are maintaining their son’s innocence.
Police yesterday reported that on Friday, Babb was involved in an altercation with another man whilst at 1st Ave Goodland, St Michael. As a result, he was said to have suffered head injuries and was taken to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance on Saturday for medical attention and subsequently died in the wee hours of Sunday.
However, Terry Rollins, whose son Shabba has reportedly since been detained by police, is insisting that there is no truth to reports that his son was involved in any altercation with Babb immediately prior to his death or that Babb was struck in the head with a shovel.
“Shabba would never hurt [him],” Rollins said in reference to his son and Babb, who was known in the district as Asher.
In fact, the father reported that Babb had been living in a small container for the past year after his home was destroyed by fire and could often be found liming and consuming alcohol at his son’s village bar, known as Shabba’s Bar & Variety.
He also alleged that the deceased man was an alcoholic, who, though helpful and “would do anything for you”, could not control himself “after two or three drinks”.
“He fall down about two or three different times and ‘lick up’ he self. He fall down at the bottom of Westbury Road and swell he head big and two other times he fall down out here full of drinks,” Rollins reported.
The father, who is currently getting legal advice on his son’s detention, further claimed that on Friday, Babb had hit his head on the sidewalk after consuming alcohol and this was the reason for his head injuries and not any altercation with the shopkeeper.
“Asher was here drinking as usual and he hit his head on the sidewalk right there. I was here cause I had just come from paying my workers and if you look there I feel you could still see the bloodstains, so I don’t know what nonsense them talking about a shovel and my son,” the distraught father said.
“I saw that he hit his head and it was bleeding and he started to run and I started to follow him to make sure he good, but then he cross the canal and I had to stop because me and the people over the canal don’t get along, so I haven’t taken that road in over five years, just to keep the peace,” Rollins said, noting that he had not seen or heard from Babb since that incident.
Shabba’s mother, who did not want to be identified by name, said she could not believe her son was being held and may even be charged with Babb’s death.
“People that were here on Friday were in shock when they heard the news. The reports on the news are completely false. That is some sort of paparazzi,” she said in response to media reports that Babb was involved in an altercation and struck in the head with a shovel.
“My son would treat Asher like a brother,” the mother of the accused insisted.
“He [Babb] would bathe here, eat here, drink here. My son even carry he town and buy clothes for he, but that alcohol take over he head,” she added.
One Goodland resident, who also did not want to be identified by name, suggested that Babb’s life was a disaster waiting to happen, while another, Gloria Solomon, told Barbados TODAY that while the deceased was in no way a violent man, he would become very boisterous after a few drinks.
“His only problem was the drinks. He loved the drinks and would keep a lot of noise after he come from drinking at the bar,” she said.
Jaden Callender, a student of Lester Vaughn Secondary School, described Babb as a cool neighbour whom he had known all his life and who always encouraged him to go to school.
When contacted tonight, police spokesman Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler said investigations were continuing into the unnatural death. He also confirmed that a suspect was still being questioned but did not provide any details.