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Feb 23, 2018

In Hattieville, Preacher/Businessman is Prey for Early Morning Thuggery

Errol Robateau

This morning, a most vicious act was visited on the former Regional Commander of the Salvation Army, Major Errol Robateau. The churchman now owns a bus service in Hattieville Village which runs daily between Belize City and Mile seventeen on the George Price Highway. Just before dawn, as Robateau and a female employee were preparing to head out on the early morning run, as many as five masked men stormed his house and began assaulting them, demanding money. They left Robateau with extensive head and body injuries which required a CT scan at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to family at the scene, at least one of the attackers may be known to Robateau and his employee, and it is suspected they may be from the village as well. The incident has forced family to take precautionary measures including changing the house locks as Robateau’s wife was not at home. News Five’s Duane Moody has more.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The unthinkable occurred just before five o’clock this morning in Hattieville. Well known Salvation Army Major Errol Robateau was the victim of home invasion in the village. The seventy-three-year-old earns his daily keep through his E.A.R. Bus Service that transports residents between the village and the city. For the past two years, Robateau would routinely await the conductor, Marilee and they would be out by five a.m., but today, that did not happen. Five masked armed men assaulted the man and his employee before escaping with cash and cell phones. Marilee, who has been working with Robateau since last September, recounts the frightening ordeal as she arrived for work just before five this morning.

 

Voice of: Marilee, Victim

“When I reach work, two masked man come from behind the bus and they come attack me and take away my phone. They tell me noh scream, but I still scream and then they knock me ina my head with the gun and ker me inside. Tell me lay down pan the floor and they put my head down and ask where the man money deh. I tell dehn which money? Mister Robateau got all the money.”

 

At this point, Marilee says that the elderly man was already on the ground, with his hands and feet bound and bleeding from the face. But that did not stop the armed burglars from continuing their beat down on Robateau. She would also realize that while she was accosted by two gunmen, there were three others inside, who ransacked the house, looking for money.

 

Voice of: Marilee

“I just mi di pray to God and tell ahn make we live cause I neva know that they mi done got he already. When we gone inside dehn mi di beat ahn up ina ih head. Got ih head swell up; he got it worse than me. When I left hospital, they mi di wait fi do wah cat scan pan ahn cause ih whole left hand and ih face swell up. ih forehead dig up, ih right side dig up and ih eye mi swell.”

 

Duane Moody

“Did you fear that they would have killed you?”

 

Voice of: Marilee

“Yeah…no me, dehn tell he cause dah he mi di get the most beating. Dehn only mi di walk ina my back. And then they tell he if they noh get the money, dehn kill fi dehn money. Dehn done crank the gun and tell ahn if dehn noh get the money dehn wah kill ahn.”

 

Shortly after, Marilee says the gunmen would confiscate her wallet containing fifty dollars and four hundred dollars from Robateau, but not before assaulting the victims with a five-gallon bottle of water. The armed men also got away with a laptop and three cell phones. They would leave and Marilee would untie Robateau and seek help.

 

Voice of: Marilee

“When I get up, I hear he di cry. I mi di wait because they neva tie me up; they mi got he tied up. I mi di wait till ih quiet then I loose he.  They noh gone with the TV or anything else out of the house.”

 

Duane Moody

“So only the money dehn mi want?”

 

Voice of: Marilee

“Yeah dah the money dehn mi want. They gone with all of his bank cards and things.”

 

Robateau is known for his community service with the Salvation Army in Belize City; particularly for his music skills in playing the trombone. Major Joliker Leandre says that he is in good spirits when he visited with him at his hospital bed earlier today.

 

Joliker Leandre

Major Joliker Leandre, Commander, Salvation Army

“He is very grateful that the person involved did not take his life, so at least he is alive. But he is doing fine. All he said to me is that he is alive; at the same time, I think he is praying for those youngsters that God may enter into their lives. I don’t think he has any grievance or anything about what happened being the person he is.”

 

Robateau remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a stable condition. Duane Moody for News Five.

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