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Jul 31, 2014

Pastor’s Wife Fights Off Attackers in Crooked Tree…

There was a frightening home invasion in the village of Crooked Tree, Belize District at the house of the resident pastor while he was at a prayer meeting in Ladyville. His wife was at home with her elderly mother and her teenage son when her nightmare unfolded. At around seven o’clock, Pastor Maurice Westby got a distress call from his wife, Betty; one of two intruders had pried open the door of the verandah of their Crooked Tree house. The intruder had overpowered her mother and was threatening to kill the pastor’s wife, but she bravely fought back to ward off the assailant and managed to escape. Betty recounts the hellish experience she lived on Wednesday night to News Five’s Isani Cayetano.

 

Betty Westby, Victim of Aggravated Burglary

“By his lone voice I probably would not have been able to recognize who he was but when the thing came off I looked right into his face and I said, “How dare you!”  Somebody I knew.  I said, “How dare you!”  I said, “Take what you want and get out of my house.”

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Aggravated burglaries, or home invasions, as they are more commonly known, are intrusions often perpetrated by persons who are intimately familiar with their victims or their properties.  In most cases, these offenses are carried out by criminals who spend countless hours surveying the movement of their quarry, as well as the state of affairs of their objective.  On Wednesday night, an individual known to Pastor Maurice Westby and his wife entered their residence in Crooked Tree while he was attending a prayer meeting at Ladyville Baptist Church.

 

Maurice Westby

Pastor Maurice Westby, Husband

“While there I got a call from my wife at about ten past seven, prayer meeting starts seven-thirty so I was preparing, and then she whispered to me that they were being held up in the house in Crooked Tree.  And I didn’t wait for her to tell me anymore, I disconnected her call and I called my brother who lives nearby, then I called the Crooked Tree police.  But he lives nearer than the police so that’s why I called him first and he has a lot of dogs and he has a licensed gun.  So I told him to go but I also had two licensed guns in the house, so he was kind of hesitant.  I said go and just fire a load from a distance, you know, so the people could hear.”

 

But before his sibling was able to respond to the incident in progress, the intruder was engaged in a struggle with Betty Westby, having overpowered her elderly mother who was seated near the front door moments earlier.  The scuffle was preceded by his forceful entry into the wooden abode.

 

Pastor Maurice Westby

“What the attacker did, he popped the screen door.  We kept the screen door hooked like most Belizean do, you know, and the yard light was on, by the way, so that didn’t deter them because my wife believed that it was two of them, but one came in.  He popped open the screen door and when she heard it she came to scold the little boy because she said, “I told you to stop slamming the door.”  But it wasn’t slamming, it was pulling out the hook, popped out the whole thing and then the person had just pushed her mother who was seated nearby, she got up when she saw the person coming in and he pushed her out of the way.  She fell in a chair, didn’t get hurt and then as my wife came around the corner from the kitchen where she was he came at her with a knife.”

 

Somehow Betty was able to avoid being stabbed.

 

Betty Westby

Betty Westby

“God help me, I managed to grab his hand that held the knife with both of my hands and he was holding me with one hand and he had the knife but I held onto his hand with both my hands and we struggled and he pushed me backwards from there and pushed me to right where I am sitting here next to my mom and he held me down, he was forcing me down and I could feel the pressure of his hand trying to get that knife at me.”

 

The vicious assault would continue with the young man demanding that she lay down on the ground face first.

 

Pastor Maurice Westby

“He told her to lie on the floor and cover her face and she said, “ I am not going to lie on the floor and cover [my] face.”  He said, “Well, you are making me kill you.  You will make me kill you.”  She said, “I am not making you kill me.”  She stood up to him, she said she stared at him in the eye.”

 

Betty Westby

“My son, who was in the bathroom to take a shower, he came out suddenly and, I guess he heard the commotion, and he came face to face with the young man.  And that was when he was distracted from me and that was when I realized there was a second person because I heard him say, “Grab him!” And he kind of lost his attention to me and I let go of his hand and that was when I ran and I got, I hid my mother behind that curtain there and I grabbed my husband’s gun and some rounds and I went through that door, the backdoor.”

 

Once outside, Westby went prone and proceeded to chamber the cartridges in the breech of the shotgun.

 

Betty Westby

“I got on my belly on the ground out there behind a little tree and I loaded the gun and I called my husband because I didn’t have a number for the policemen here, nobody that I could think of to call.  I knew my husband had the numbers for the policemen so I called him and I said, “Dad, two men have me and Mama hold up.”  He said, “What!”  I said, “Yes.”  And he immediately shut off his phone and he called the police and at that time I tried to listen to hear what was happening in hear and when I held up my head they were standing just a little ways from me but they were talking.  So I realized that they were out of the house so that was my break to get up and run back into the house.  And so when I came in I locked all the doors and I began to scream for my son because at this point I didn’t know where he was.  I didn’t know if they did something to him.”

 

The minor by that time had run across to the neighbors to get help.  Residents of the village, including the chairman and police officers would also pour into the streets in search of the suspects.  Despite a militia being deployed into the area no trace of either suspects has been found. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

It is believed that one of the assailants made off with one of the pastor’s licensed point twenty-two rifle and is believed to be armed and dangerous. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Pastor’s Wife Fights Off Attackers in Crooked Tree…”

  1. Rod says:

    Give praise to your gov. For keeping you safe

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