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Mar 8, 2016

3 San Pedro Cops Charged for Murder of Bartender

In the prime tourism destination of San Pedro Ambergris Caye, two persons were murdered adding to the list of homicide statistics since the beginning of the year. A Cayo resident was brutally beaten allegedly by three police officers on Friday and passed away on Monday morning after slipping into a coma and undergoing two rounds of surgery. Edwin Ixpatac sustained severe injuries to the head and abdomen. Late this afternoon, three officers were charged for his murder. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Three police officers attached to the San Pedro Police Department were late this evening arraigned for the murder of twenty-nine year old Cayo resident, Edwin Ixpatac on San Pedro. It is believed that Police Constables Reydel Teck, Jahsimir Cob and Romelio Logan assaulted the Caprice Bar and Grill waiter on Friday morning. He appeared to be intoxicated when he was detained on the beach near the Villas of Banyan Bay. Ixpatac was taken to the San Pedro Police Station.

 

Hilberto Romero

Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., CIB

“We have conducted an investigation into this matter, several statements have been recorded, the video footage has been reviewed, a post mortem has been conducted by Doctor Mario Estradabran and at this point there is sufficient evidence and we have now pursued to charge three of these officers for murder. Sometime around one a.m., San Pedro Police responded to a report of a male person behaving disorderly in the water in front of a pier; two police officers initially responded. At some point, there was a back and forth with the two officers and the now deceased Edwin Ixpatac. He was then removed from the water, handcuffed and taken to the San Pedro Police station. While at the police station, efforts were being made to take off a handcuff from his hands…one of the hands was removed and the other could not be removed. At some point there was a confrontation between the deceased and three officers attached to the San Pedro Police Station. We have the incident on video footage. The male person was then placed inside the cell block and at some point between six-thirty and seven a.m. on the said Friday, he was found unconscious in the cell block.”

 

Edwin Ixpatac

According to his coworkers, they became concerned about Ixpatac when he didn’t show up to work on Friday.

 

Jonathan Garcia, Waiter, Caprice Bar & Grill

“On Friday morning, half an hour passed and then an hour passed and he didn’t show up so we started making calls and we decided to call the police station because we were trying to figure out what happened. They informed us that he was arrested the night before.”

 

A critically injured Ixpatac was rushed to the Doctor Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic before being transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Ixpatac later slipped into a coma before he died around eleven-thirty on Monday morning. A post mortem confirmed that the waiter died from blunt trauma to the head and abdomen, believed to be as a result of the assault by the officers.

 

Patricia Romero

Patricia Romero, Waitress, Caprice Bar & Grill

“When they transferred him to the K.H.M.H., they had to go under operation because he had severe bleeding in his head. So to take out all that blood from his head, they did perform a surgery. And on Saturday as well, the bleeding did not stop so they performed another surgery. So he underwent two surgeries on his head.”

 

Duane Moody

“It would mean that he was really beaten badly both in the head and the abdomen.”

 

Patricia Romero

“Both in the head and in the abdomen. I actually got the news on Saturday that he went into coma and the only thing he had was the life support and without the life support then he would have died.”

 

The charges came following simultaneous investigations from the CIB and the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department. The internal investigation indicated that there was administrative neglect and as a result a fourth officer and supervisor, Sergeant Berry was placed on interdiction.

 

Keith Lino

ACP Keith Lino, Professional Standards Branch

“We have placed the three officers and their supervisor, Sergeant Berry on interdiction because the Sergeant was the person who was in charge at the Police Station. So he was interdicted along with the three constables. Besides that, I have placed them on disciplinary charges which are prejudice to good order and discipline for the act that they have committed against the now deceased Mister Ixpatac.”

 

His friends and former coworkers at Caprice Bar and Grill reminisced on his personality.

 

Patricia Romero

“The most I will remember about Edwin is his smile. He really had a charismatic smile. He was a nice coworker; I would consider him a friend as well. Anything that we needed from Edwin, he would do anything possible for us to receive help in anything we needed.”

 

Jonathan Garcia

Jonathan Garcia

“He was a very good person, very friendly, you can get along with him very good and well a very good coworker.”

 

Overwhelmed, Romero was saddened by the fact that Ixpatac passed away alone.

 

Patricia Romero

“The saddest part of everything is that he died alone. We still can’t get information of how he arrived from the Polyclinic to the K.H.M.H.  Well we haven’t gotten that information as yet. And it is sad because he was lonely. When he passed away there was no one in the room except for the doctor; he and the doctor.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

When the men appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, no plea was taken; they were denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May ninth.

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