What was supposed to be an enjoyable first-time visit to Barbados has turned into a nightmare for five young Vincentians.
The visitors, aged 19 to 26, are claiming that police barged into the house where they were staying in the wee hours of Monday and brutalized them, leaving them to seek medical attention for varying injuries.
And Allison Louis, the mother of one of the victims has vowed to leave no stone unturned in her fight for justice.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY tonight from her home at 1st Avenue Bibby’s Lane, St Michael, the irate Louis explained that her son Bashan Chance, who lives with her, was involved in an altercation with some boys not far from their home last Wednesday.
She said from information she had received, a female was at the centre of the dispute.
She further explained that following that incident, a group of men came to her house and called for her son. When he went to the door they pulled him out of the house and beat him, inflicting several injuries in the process.
As a result, Louis said she went to the District ‘A’ Police Station where she made a complaint.
However, she charged that instead of doing their job to apprehend the culprits who beat her son, members of the Task Force barged into her home at 4 o’clock this morning without a warrant and beat all of the occupants, who were family members on their first trip to Barbados.
“They broke down the door and went into the house. They didn’t show anybody a warrant and they beat everybody who was inside the house for no reason.
“They destroyed my bed, windows, doors, my showerhead and they even burst a pipe outside. The police claimed they were looking for guns but they did not find anything, not even a cigarette or a wrapper. Where is the justice for foreigners in Barbados?” asked the Vincentian who has been living here for the past 32 years.
One of the alleged victims Jefa Stephas told Barbados TODAY he was inside sleeping with his girlfriend when he heard a knock on the door.
He said he was hesitant to open it because of what had happened to Bashan.
The 23-year-old said from the time police gained entry to the house it was “licks for everyone”.
Stephas said male officers even slapped his girlfriend Hawanya Young in her face.
“It was about 4 o’ clock and me and my girlfriend was sleeping and we heard a banging on the house. When I got up I heard some footsteps in the house and someone shouted out ‘come here, come here’.
“I ran back in the bedroom and they kicked in the door and before I could even grab a towel the first thing in my chest was a foot stamp,” he recalled.
He said he was then made to lay on the floor and while officers questioned him about a gun.
“Every time they asked me about a gun and I told them I didn’t know about no gun they slapped me in my face. If they ask me five times they slapped me every time,” Stephas said.
He said he was so terrified he wanted to cry but fought back tears when he realized they would not help the situation.
Stephas said once they were finished with him, they went through the house beating the other occupants, which included another female.
Louis said she was forced to take them for medical treatment at the Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic.
She said some of them suffered soft tissue damage and one was diagnosed with a haematoma to the left side of her face.
The frustrated woman said she had already called the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves and had also made an attempt to speak to PM Mia Mottley about the issue.
“They said they will remember this for the rest of their lives. This is the first time in Barbados and this happened to them. Two of those girls haven’t even been in Barbados for 24 hours and they get licks. They only came in at 10 o’ clock Monday night and they got beat after 4 a.m. Where is the justice for foreigners in this country?” she cried.
“I am not going to stop until I get justice. I am going to take this as far as I can because this is wrong!”
When contacted, police public relations officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss told Barbados TODAY he was unaware of the incident and therefore would not be in a position to comment.
He explained however, that while investigations would have to be carried out, there was a protocol for lodging complaints against police officers.