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Jul 9, 2018

2 Adults and a Minor Arraigned for San Pedro Home Invasion

Nigel Williams & Christian Espat

A U.S. expat Clifford Kirk remains hospitalized in the United States where he was flown to for emergency medical treatment following an attack on his life. Kirk’s house is located about ten miles from San Pedro and last Thursday, he was gravely injured during a home invasion.  Today, a trio of alleged robbers was taken to court after being held since Thursday afternoon. They were arraigned for a battery of charges. One is a minor so his name is being withheld, but another is well-known to law with his name consistently linked to crime. The third person is from the San Mateo area of the island.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Clifford Kirk

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before two o’clock this afternoon twenty-five-year-old Nigel Williams, twenty-two-year-old Christian Espat and a sixteen-year-old minor of San Mateo were arraigned in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Janelle Villanueva for charges associated with last Thursday’s home invasion ten miles north of San Pedro Town. During the brazen broad daylight aggravated burglary, sixty-year-old expat Clifford Kirk was shot to the head and remains critical as he was airlifted on Friday to the U.S. for urgent medical attention; his wife was also assaulted during the crime before the thieves escaped on two jet skis.

 

Reymundo Reyes

Supt. Reymundo Reyes, Coastal Executive Officer

“Several persons were detained and questioned and as a result of that, it has led to the arrest of three individuals, two adults and a minor, who will be arraigned this morning at the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court for attempt murder, aggravated assault and robbery.”

 

While details could not be disclosed as to how police were able to link the trio to the crime, News Five understands that they were reportedly seen in the area prior to the incident. According to the initial report, the thieves got away with a nine millimeter pistol, a shotgun and a briefcase with an undisclosed amount of cash. Superintendent Reyes says that the stolen items have not been recovered; a jet ski believed to have been used in the commission of the crime was discovered three miles to the south of the island. It is believed that the getaway water crafts were also stolen two weeks ago.

 

Supt. Reymundo Reyes

“We are still looking for the jet skis. Lagoon patrols and other areas are being checked as we speak because we believe that we are not so sure if these have to do with a prior incident at Prince Caye where two jet skis were stolen. So we are not sure whether the stolen jet skis are the ones being used by these individuals to move from one place to the next.”

 

Duane Moody

“As to the stolen items, could you talk to us about that? Has it been recovered?”

 

Supt. Reymundo Reyes

“Presently, no. House searches have been done and so forth, but we have not come in contact with none of the items stolen.”

 

In court today, Espat was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley. While the arraignment occurred in camera because of the accused minor, it is known that Espat informed the judge that he had been brutalized by police officers. The trio was detained along with several other persons on Thursday afternoon at a residence in the San Pedrito area.

 

Voice of: Minor, Claims Police Brutality

“GSU came and grab him and slam he up and grab me and slam me towards the bed broke my phone and then ih grab me and handcuff me and the next Espat and dash me in the pickup. And then we went and look for the other Espat them and went back to the station and ker the rest.”

 

Voice of: Espat, Claims Police Brutality

“When I reach at Miss Rodriguez house where I went to see my brother where he was at the moment. When I reach, the police reached after with a pickup full of GSU. They instantly told us to get into the car and they started hitting my brother. And they said you, you; you are the one we want and they started hitting him. When we went down in the pickup, I noticed that they already had some member of my family in the pickup truck and minor person. They started hitting him, they stoned him and then flipped him in the air and stone him head way into the pickup truck.  Around five-thirty to six o’clock, they came with my brother and the other minor when they told us that they went up the coast and they were tortured.”

 

Espat’s mother, Priscilla says that she traveled from Benque Viejo to the island and decided to lawyer up because police has consistently been targeting her sons. She alleges that the officers have threatened her sons’ lives.

 

Priscilla Espat

Priscilla Espat, Mother of Accused [Translated]

“I am going to fight this because I will not leave my son like this. They keep on doing this to my son and won’t let us see him. Upstairs they told them that if they see any of them fishing, they will kill them. The police say that they will have my sons disappear; that is not fair because they are San Pedranos and they have all rights to work here because they are fishermen.”

 

Bail was denied for the trio and they were remanded to the Central Prison in Hattieville until September twelfth when they are to return to court. Duane Moody for News Five.

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