Circumstances which led to a child being bound with rope and dragged up some stairs while an adult in attendance claimed she had a “demon” is receiving the active attention of local police and child care officials.
Both have launched an investigation into the video recorded at an apartment building at Dayrells Road, St Michael by a young resident who said she was alarmed at the sight.
Concerned neighbour Olivia Gittens said she recorded it just around 3:10 p.m. on Sunday after responding to sounds of a ruckus outside her home. Her video shows two adults attempting to drag a crying child up the stairs even as she tried to hold onto the rails to prevent herself from being moved.
Another adult, who descends the stairs and walked towards Gittens, identified herself as a priest and claimed that the child has a “demon”.
A young boy, who it was suggested was the girl’s brother, could also be seen in the video, standing on the stairs looking on.
Gittens reported the incident to the police who are still carrying out investigations.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, informed the media earlier today that she was looking into the matter, which she assured Barbadians, was receiving the attention of the Child Care Board, including Director Joan Crawford.
“The Child Care Board is on top of this matter,” Forde told Barbados TODAY.
Meanwhile, though several hours had passed since she recorded the incident and posted it on her Facebook page to bring public awareness to the matter, Gittens was still visibly shaken up.
She told Barbados TODAY during an interview at her apartment, located in the same complex where the incident was recorded, that the sight of seeing the young girl’s feet and hands tied and the sound of her screams, keep haunting her. She said she had little or no sleep last night.
“People seeing two 30-second videos, but this thing went on for 30 minutes. That was 30 minutes of her crying. If they were willing to do that to her in public, imagine what they would do to her on the inside. It was horrible,” Gittens recalled.
She said she was inside her apartment speaking to a technician who was fixing her television, when she heard a loud gasping, which she immediately investigated and saw what she described as an unbelievable sight.
Gittens said that state of shock lasted for about five minutes, until she decided that she had to do something to assist the seemingly helpless child.
She said with the assistance of another neighbour, she called the police.
Gittens recalled that an off duty policeman who was visiting her dad, attempted to stop the women, but they ignored her because she did not have her badge at the time.
“She kept crying. She kept fighting them. She never once cried for help, which baffled me. I was like, is she that accustomed to that? Minutes passed, and she was on the step roped down and just trying not to go inside.
“The police went home for her badge and she went to them and showed them the badge and told them what they were doing is wrong. And they were like this is them right to do, and she was like, ‘no ya’ll doing this in public’. And she got them to go inside with the girl,” she said.
“Eventually the detectives came. They went up there and they were up there for a little while, and when they came back down, they looked upset, saddened, and as confused as I was,” she added.
Gittens said she was aware that some members of the public who viewed the video, were critical of her decision to post it.
However, the 30-year-old said she posted the video, which received thousands of views, so the incident would receive the attention it deserves, and not be swept under the carpet.
“I recorded it because I know that this might end up to be a situation where it’s my word against theirs. This could be a situation where I recorded this, maybe I hand it to the police, the police say okay and nothing come of it and God knows this girl end up dying, or committing suicide later on down the road. I want people to see that it is 2019 and there are people dragging a little girl on steps, talking that she got a demon,” Gittens said.
Other residents in the area told Barbados TODAY that they were upset and angry that the incident took place. The residents said that while this was the first incident of its kind to take place at the apartment, they have noticed some “unusual” movements taking place.
“It got me tramautized. It got me so good. I did not sleep last night,” another concerned resident said.
Barbados TODAY understands that the young girl’s relatives took her to the “priest” who belongs to a religious group, for deliverance.
The woman, who said she was a priest, told Barbados TODAY that she was not ready to talk about the incident.