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Aug 28, 2000

Policeman shot by fellow cop as suspect escapes

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Police and citizens were at odds Friday night over an incident in which one policeman was shot by another and a drug suspect escaped. An angry crowd gathered when police fired on the suspect his friends claimed was unarmed.

Eyewitness #1

“We were in the house sitting down. They just came in and just burst into the house, kick down the doors and it was like what happened? They didn’t ask any questions. Belize police have no respect and no manners.”

Eyewitness #2

“The man was just talking to me and they just started to run the man. I don’t know, those guys look like they got crazy.”

Jose Sanchez

“Where did the incident start when they started to chase him?”

Eyewitness #2

“By Plues Street.”

Jose Sanchez

“Do you have any idea why they chose him?”

Eyewitness #2

“Maybe it’s because the man just came back from the States and they don’t like how the man rest. That’s how Belize police go.”

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

To the crowd it appeared that Bowen was singled out for absolutely no reason. But when the facts became clear, it turned out that Bowen was not as innocent as his friends thought he was. Bowen was recently deported from the U.S. And according to Police Public Relations Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood, policy requires frequent contact between officers and deportees for a period of six months. So it was not strange for the patrol to attempt to detain or question Sheffield. Yearwood says Friday night incident would have been routine, if Sheffield was not armed.

Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer

“A little after 6:00 on Friday evening. A police vehicle was out on patrol on the Plues Street area where they saw a gray van driven by Sheffield Bowen, also known as “Manatee Man” bearing license plate C2401 in the area. They suspected the driver of this vehicle had drugs and firearms on him, so they decided to stop and search. When they approached the vehicle, the driver sped off and the police set chase. On Cemetery Road the vehicle decided to go contrary to the flow of traffic, and the police were in pursuit. They managed to shoot one of the wheels on the vehicle causing it to have a puncture. But because of the direction they were traveling, this allowed the driver ample time to escape into the bushes.”

“The police went out there and Mr. Bowen fired a shot at the police, that missed. A police officer fired a shot back at Sheffield Bowen that accidentally caught P.C. Grinage in his left upper chest. The bullet went completely through and exited.”

Reporting For News Five, I am Jose Sanchez.

Grinage underwent surgery at the KHMH on Friday night and is now recovering at Belize Medical Associates. We spoke to him briefly and though in pain, he expects to assume his duties once fully recovered. In the meantime, Sheffield Bowen is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous.

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