B.D.F. soldier is badly beaten at the hands of the police in San Ignacio
A B.D.F. soldier is today recovering from injuries he received at the hands of officers of the San Ignacio Police Department. The brutal beating was meted out on Corporal Keith Pinnix in the early hours of Sunday morning as he was standing outside the Blue Angels nightclub in San Ignacio. There are different sides to every story and this one is no exception. But what we can confirm at this time is that Pinnix suffered a concussion and was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital and then transferred to the K.H.M.H. He was then handed over to the B.D.F. and is in the Force Hospital on Price Barracks receiving treatment. The airwaves erupted this morning with calls from family members of Pinnix condemning the actions of the Police. Mike Rudon went to Price Barracks today and has the story.
Mike Rudon, Reporting
Today, Corporal Keith Pinnix was still under observation at the Force Hospital on Price Barracks after he suffered a concussion over the weekend. He says he was at the Blue Angels Nightclub in San Ignacio and got into an altercation with another patron, and that’s when he decided to go downstairs of the club. Pinnix says he saw the Police coming, and knew they were coming for him.
Cpl. Keith Pinnix, Beaten by Police
“I was downstairs waiting…me and my cousin standing there still. And they came out and I guess they knew I was the one…so they came toward me. But the way they came toward me – they came aggressive toward me and I mentioned to them that there was no need for the aggressiveness because it’s not like I have anything in my hand that I can do anything with. I was out there bare-handed with nothing one me. I actually showed them that I had nothing in my hand that I could do anything with. And they still came onto me aggressively. And after that, when they came onto me, I said that the best thing I can do for me is try to protect myself and try to get my hands up. I managed to hold on to one of them for a little while but then when I was holding on to him that’s when others came and were hitting me with the baton.”
Pinnix admits that he was drinking in the club, but denies that he was aggressive towards the Police in any way. In fact, he says that he identified himself as a member of the Belize Defense Force. But that didn’t save him from the beating that followed.
Cpl. Keith Pinnix
“They came and they were hitting…they continued hitting. I remember bleeding afterwards. My cousin was holding on to me and he was telling them that I have nothing in my hands. So he was the one telling them that they shouldn’t continue hitting me like that. That was about as far as I can remember because I was starting to feel a little bit of dizziness and started going away.”
Pinnix says he was still semi-conscious when Police cuffed him, dragged him down the street, threw him in the back of the vehicle and took him to the Police Station. That’s when he blacked out completely. When he woke up he was at the K.H.M.H.
Dr. Lydia Guerra, Base Doctor
“I was called yesterday morning at around nine o’clock that they were transferring Pinnix from the Cayo Hospital to Belize City, K.H.M.H., where he would receive a CT Scan. When I arrived at the K.H.M.H., he was stable. He was oriented, he could tell me his name, he knew where he was, so we were just waiting for the result of the CT Scan. He suffered a concussion to his head, along with lacerations and a sprain on his right thumb.”
“Were there any other marks that support what he is saying that he was beaten up by Police?”
“Basically we can say that he did suffer some extensive injuries to his head. And with the injury to his hand we can show that it was a defensive wound and he was trying to defend himself from getting injured.”
Pinnix says he doesn’t understand why he was beaten so badly, since as a B.D.F. soldier he has always worked closely with the Police.
Cpl. Keith Pinnix
“I never had anything personal with anyone from the Police Department. I’ve been working with them so long so I don’t know why I should have anything personal with them. My father is a Police…I have my father, I have my cousin, I have many people who are actually Police, been in there from ever since, so I don’t know.”
“Colonel what happens now? Will the B.D.F. be following this up or will it be left to Cpl. Pinnix to take any action if he chooses to?”
Col. Raymond Shepherd, B.D.F. Chief of Staff
“No…we are already putting procedures into place. We’re conversing with the Police and we’re also taking him to lodge an official complaint to the Internal Affairs office of the Police Department.”
That complaint was lodged in Belize City this afternoon. Mike Rudon for News Five.Email This Story