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Jul 23, 2018

Man Chopped to Death in Dangriga; Was it Self-Defense?

Anthony Picart

A chopping incident between two men in Dangriga has left one person dead and another hospitalized. Anthony Picart was chopped multiple times to the head and body; he underwent surgery at the Southern Regional Hospital and was being transported to the Western Regional Hospital when he died on Sunday night. The other man involved in the incident is Calvin Figueroa, whose arm was almost severed, but he is now at the K.H.M.H. awaiting surgery.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco went to Dangriga today and found out that hard talk between two men ended tragically for one. But is it an open-shut self-defense matter? Police also gave their take on the deadly incident and how they will proceed with it. Here’s the story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A wild chopping happened here along the main street in Dangriga on Sunday and it has left one man dead and another hospitalized. But today it’s business as usual on Saint Vincent Street where all that’s left is a bloody trail – several yards long – that shows where a man ran for his life.  Just after eleven on Sunday morning, fifty-three-year-old Anthony Picart and twenty-nine-year-old Calvin Figueroa, and several other persons, were under this shed when words were exchanged. That hard talk was initiated by Figueroa to Picart. According to Figueroa, Picart pulled a machete and chopped him once and almost severed his left arm.  Figueroa says that he managed to get a hold of the machete and he turned it on Picart but doesn’t remember exactly what happened next. He says he feels bad about what happened but it was all in self-defense.

 

Voice of: Calvin Figueroa, Hospitalized

“We mi di sell out di sell some mango and have wah lee conversation among ourselves and I actually tell Mr. Picart that how he chancey because he like chance my friends dem. And that dah all weh I could remember actually happen that I di chill and he gone fi his machete off his bike and he start to chop me. So, I had to wrestle with ah fi fight fi my life because if I neva did it, he mi wah tek weh my life because he almost cut off my hand completely; only skin and lee bit of muscle di hold it up together. And that dah weh actually happen because after that I just passed away because I lose lotta blood and I nuh remember weh happen.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Suh you neva chase the man down the street di chop ah up?”

 

Voice of: Calvin Figueroa

“I can’t actually remember. I could only remember what happened while we mi deh under the spot by the same time.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Under the shed?”

 

Voice of: Calvin Figueroa

“Yes. Because when I get up again dah because I deh dah hospital.  I feel really sorry about it. I could just send my condolences to his people and ask them for forgiveness because dah nuh something weh I mi expect wah happen just like that. I neva meant it but I feel if I neva defend myself, he probably mi wah do me the same thing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You think you mi wah be the one dead today?”

 

Voice of: Calvin Figueroa

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And you and Picart didn’t fight before? No exchange before?”

 

Voice of: Calvin Figueroa

“No. We never had an altercation before.”

 

While Figueroa says he doesn’t recall what all happened on Sunday, eye-witnesses told us that he chased Picart along Saint Vincent Street – chopping him several times. They say that Picart ran for his life and tried to seek refuge here on Bluefield Road but collapsed. It was here residents tried to use this piece of stick to disarm Figueroa.  Police corroborate that angle of the story. And as to the theory of self-defense that Figueroa claims? Here’s what police had to say.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“In the process of Mr. Picart attempting to make his escape, he was pursued by Figueroa who inflicted several other chop wounds to him. Figueroa was later disarmed by witnesses who were in the area. Mr. Figueroa is under police guard at the K.H.M.H.”

 

Reporter

“Is there an element of self-defense that Police have to contend with? Is the gentleman claiming self-defense?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“No. Not as yet. The investigation is at its early stages and if you were able to listen to the facts, you will see that Figueroa was able to disarm the deceased and then pursued him where he inflicted the injuries.”

 

Reporter

“Therefore, that element would not play a factor into this particular matter?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I am not of that opinion; however, the statements and other evidence will be gathered before submission to the office of the D.P.P. for her directives.”

 

Picart’s grand-nephew, Denrick Walton, says he remembers his uncle being a calm and easy going person. They never imagined his life would be taken in such a brutal manner – especially so at the hands of someone he knew well. Picart was being taken to Western Regional Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival by ten Sunday night. Picart spent many years in the U.S.A but was deported several years ago. Walton says that they are still trying to process the tragedy.

 

Denrick Walton

Denrick Walton, Nephew of the Deceased

“Tony is a very timid man. He is the kind of guy who would run away from trouble. What I heard that Rojo approached him and beat him up. I think that Tony was the one who pulled the machete but somehow Rojo gained power over him and took the machete and chopped him up. That is what I heard – I am just speculating at this moment.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“His injuries – do you know to what extent he was chopped?”

 

Denrick Walton

“I visited the hospital but was unable to see him. But what I heard is that he was severely chopped in his head, his arms and multiple times multiple times on his body.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The machete that he was chopped with belonged to him – to Mr. Picart?”

 

Denrick Walton

“Yes. I believe that it is his machete because from what I heard, he rose the machete to defend himself and the accused picked up a block and stoned him and that is how I believed he gained power and take possession of the machete and inflicted those injuries upon my uncle.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Have you heard if that shed where they socialize – hang out and play dominoes – is an area where they usually hang out?”

 

Denrick Walton

“He is not quite a frequent visitor of that area. He goes around town selling oranges, coconuts, anything he gets from farm for his daily necessities.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And so the guy he got involved with in that exchange yesterday – are they friends? Do you know if they know each other?”

 

Anthony Picart

Denrick Walton

“I think he knows him because one of his brothers is married to his aunt. So, I know they are quite acquainted but to say that they had any prior disagreement, not to my knowledge.   The news was quite surprising and devastating knowing the kind of personality he is. He is a harmless human being. Tony doesn’t look for trouble with anyone, so to have heard that actually happened was quite surprising to us.  My uncle resided in the U.S. for quite some time where he had three kids; two daughters and a son. And what saddens me the most is that after he got deported he always planned to meet his kids and his grandkids and he will never get that opportunity.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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