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Feb 3, 2014

Canadian national is chopped multiple times in Benque Viejo

A Canadian businessman was chopped multiple times as he and his two year old daughter headed to his business in Benque Viejo del Carmen. He is the third Canadian to be a victim of violence in recent months, the two others were murdered and the weekend incident has raised alarm bells for the Canadian and US Embassies. One suspect has been arraigned but it has not been lost on Steven Reichert that the charges were not for attempted murder.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke today with Reichert and the police.

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Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A bold, late-morning attack on a father and his infant daughter in a generally quiet neighborhood in Benque Viejo del Carmen is the latest assault on a foreign national in the Cayo District.  Canadian businessman Steven Reichert, who has been living in Belize for almost five years, was walking down a footpath along with his two-year-old daughter Grace when he was violently assailed by someone who lives nearby.   The axe and machete-wielding neighbor, says Reichert, was going after the toddler.

 

Steven Reichert

Steven Reichert, Victim of Aggravated Assault

“The assailant ran down the street behind us, coming up behind us and was screaming [and] yelling.  I didn’t pay that much attention because I didn’t think it was even directed at us.  We continued to walk, as the steps got closer and I turned back I realized that he had the machete raised over his head and screaming and coming towards us.”

 

According to Reichert, the man proceeded to swing the weapon at his daughter.  Instinctively, he moved to protect her.  In the process he was chopped multiple times to various parts of his body.

 

Steven Reichert

“He had the machete raised up and he went to strike my daughter and I pushed her out of the way at the last minute and the machete went down and stuck into the ground.  It took him some time to actually pull the machete out from the ground again.  At that point I picked up my daughter and we just started running.  We ran about another hundred feet, [by that time] he had gotten the machete and started to chase after us from there.”

 

That pursuit, several blocks through the Chapel Hill area, would eventually result in Reichert sustaining injuries to his left arm and the back of the head before members of the local neighborhood watch came to his rescue.  He maintains that the attacker, identified as a Mr. Hob, intended to kill them both.  Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson commands the Benque Viejo police formation.

 

Dinsdale Thompson

Supt. Dinsdale Thompson, O.C., Benque Police

“Upon taking him to the court this morning, the magistrate ordered that there be a psychiatric evaluation of the gentleman because he appears to not be hearing properly and not understanding when we would put certain questions or put certain information to him.  So that’s what we are looking at and we are waiting for that psychiatric evaluation as well, as we continue our investigation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“My understanding is that this latest incident is now involving other agencies from outside of the country looking into what may have transpired with regards to this being the second or third Canadian national in the Cayo District that has been attacked physically.”

 

Supt. Dinsdale Thompson

“Yes.  Well, we did update the embassy, the consulate here in Belize, the Canadian consulate, informing them about the incident.”

 

Steven Reichert

“I know the Canadian Embassy was very concerned about it.  They had contacted me right away.  There was a very quick response by the Canadian Embassy and they’ve been very, very good in support, in family support with us.  So I know they are monitoring it very, very closely to see what happens in regards to the criminal element and the court system and what happens with the assailant and I believe the United States Embassy is watching this very, very closely.”

 

This morning however, Hob was arraigned on two charges, none of which were attempted murder.

 

Supt. Dinsdale Thompson

“We have not [gone] ahead with any attempted murder because our investigation is showing that Mr. Steve got assaulted by Mr. Hob not with any intent to endanger life or not with any intent to take away life.  So that’s what our investigation is showing at this present moment.”

 

Reichert, on the other hand, is of a different impression.

 

Steven Reichert

“This was a clear-cut case that the person’s actions, his mentality, his intentions, all of that pointed towards murder.  Had it not been for neighborhood watch we both would have been murdered, there’s no question in my mind about that.  Even the chop that I received to my neck had it been another millimeter or two it would have severed the vein or a major artery and I wouldn’t be here today.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

The two Canadian nationals who were viciously killed in the country are Brian Townsend, a missionary living in Valley of Peace. Townsend was murdered and his body found in the Macal River on December twenty-seventh 2013; his body was buried near Arenal by Guatemalan authorities. Two months earlier, in October, fifty-seven year old Patricia Nichiporowich was murdered inside her house in Consejo Shores, Corozal.

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21 Responses for “Canadian national is chopped multiple times in Benque Viejo”

  1. Lowjack says:

    Well this says a lot of my country, i feel anger and shame we
    get alot but a lot of help from others countries and there’s
    people who try to kill them, thief, rape and all kind of stupid
    things, and when they get the responsible “he is crazy” and let him go
    well if i were the foreign country helping i just stop doing it
    police should try the best to provide proteccion to the country
    a lots of “graduates” but no proteccion in the street WTF?

  2. Karen says:

    Quoting the words of the officer:

    Supt. Dinsdale Thompson
    “We have not [gone] ahead with any attempted murder because our investigation is showing that Mr. Steve got assaulted by Mr. Hob not with any intent to endanger life or not with any intent to take away life. So that’s what our investigation is showing at this present moment.”

    Are you for fucking real? A machete wielding psychopath and you’re tell me there was no intent to kill this man and his child? Get the fuck outta here.

    The laws of this country needs to be revised and there has to be harsher punishments for criminal who obviously have no regards for human life. Targeting foreigners and tourists because they are easy target. This is a fucking shame and disgrace and I am so fed up of hearing about these crimes taking place in our country and ruining the reputation of our beautiful jewel.

    Start taking these criminals in the bushes and put a bullet to the back of their heads, no questions asked!!!! NEXT!

  3. Darn Belize! says:

    We’ve already told you Canadians not to relocate to Belize! Its a Jungle out here and you
    all have become the favorite targets of thieves, crooks and murderers. Stay in your
    beautiful country and build a nice fireplace to stay warm for the winter months. Oh!
    The Government doesn’t like Canadians either. Why else would a CLEAR act of “Attempted Murder”
    be called “Aggravated Assault”.

  4. T.Meyer says:

    Judging by Supt. Thompson’s response, all the police training and money pumped into Belize by CARSI, does not seem to be making much difference. Money can’t change the hearts and minds of men.

  5. Al Rich says:

    Give me a %$#&***** break. You run someone down armed with two deadly weapon and with out provocation attack them and this is not intent to commit murder? What exactly is wrong with this country and the people who are in a position to make decisions. Did this man and his child had to be put on life support for this to be attempted murder. The way I see it, he premeditated harming someone, why else would he be armed.

  6. Wil says:

    Good job Belize, one more psychopath free on the run!

  7. Dumb Guy says:

    ????? Not attempted murder??? The two most common weapons in the world used to kill people are guns and knives, and in this case a very large knife!!!!!
    If they will not charge this guy with attempted murder then get the hell out of the country Mr. Canadian. That means the police have something personal against you. I think it already means exactly that.
    And for the psycho, if he can claim insanity, then for sure lock him up as who wants an insane person on the street with a machete chopping up people. Insanity and trying to kill, should be mandatory jail time and nothing else.

  8. the observer says:

    Where is the DPP in this, they are the one’s that should placing the charges? I see two victims a two year old girl and father, there should be attempted murder charge for the attack directed to the child, and the backup charges as listed for the attack on father, in addition to charges for using the machete and Axe. Question; why is the O/C Thompson no attempted murder intent? is he a mind reader? I suggest that police get to work and find that missing Ambulance, that’s public property and missing for months now and no one what’s to talk, I smell corruption here?

  9. Sandra says:

    Darn you sound just like Dinsdale like a damn idiot……if you have nothing good to say say nothing at all…and Dinsdale the man was already injured and the guy kept chasing him how then is that not attempted murder????

  10. Belizean says:

    No intent to endanger? What is wrong with….. ? My God!!!!!!!!! What does endanger mean? What does it mean when someone comes at you with a machete? I swung my machete at a possum, and there was no way I tried to kill him eh? Please man, what has this country come to? If this is what it has come to, then I say we let Canada, US, or Guatemala for that sake, take a hold of our country!!

  11. ang says:

    He might come after a Bzean next time.

  12. Merlene Hyde says:

    Shame on you Belize! Shame on the San Ignacio police superintendent. Not attempted murder? Someone should go after you with a machete and axe. I bet you would scream attempted murder. What is it in Belize that we glorify criminals? Murderers walk free everyday. Chop someone to pieces and throw their parts in the latrine–you’ll get off. Sleep well–that’s the type of crime that goes unpunished in Belize. I have never seen a joke of a legal system such as exists in Belize. Waste of tax payers’ money.

  13. moses x says:

    Supt. Dinsdummy got an F in criminal law in the police academy. How he made ranks is one those Belizean phenomenon. There are many dumdums in high places. Officers get appointed due to political connections. Shame on us. Someone should have edited his statement to the press. What ever happened to the press release officers.

  14. Xcop says:

    This is clearly a case of attempted murder of both victims.. There is no reason not to charge for that offense. The continued attacks on tourists, residents, local or not are becoming big news outside this country.. Canada and the US both support the Belize police dept with lots of equipment and money.. If they are not careful that source is going to dry up. If that happens it hurts all of the people. It’s time for the people to make some changes. Without the people, nothing will change. As the influence of the drug trade increases this country will see an increase in these type incidents.. A sad state of affairs for such a beautiful place..

  15. clearly lawlessness says:

    clearly this is absurd. whenever do you hear of such that its not attempted murder when in broad daylight, it is attempted murder. this is outrageous and completely inhumane. we are just bullshitting the foreigners. it’ll not be too late before anyone who comes as tourist to Belize begin to go to hawaii or just fly over belize to another country, due to these horrifying actions of these people… we would probably not even have any country affiliating with us soon….

  16. its nuts says:

    I dont know how much more clear cut this needs to be. There are 2 victims here, a young 2yr old toddler and the father, who sustained serious injury trying to save his daughter. What father wouldnt do this to save his 2 year old daughter from being attacked. And the assailant is released the same day back into a community that is full of children. No monitoring, no supervision. What the hell???
    We need to start shooting this m#&^% fers and leaving the pieces there for the police to charge with littering. Its no wonder the people never bother to call the police.
    Why the hell are we giving these idiots money and equipment to ride around in new trucks, when they let the criminals go free.? How about training a civilian based police force,?

  17. Sofia says:

    I think everybody is missing something here. People DO NOT just go angry to kill a child, it has to be a motivation for that, this guy must have done something to this man for him to be so angry and come to try to kill him or his daughter. The victim said that he knew him in his interview, so ask yourself many questions before you defend this man; look at his body language and very casual way of talking. Also, remember a lot of USA and Canadian criminals go hide in the jungles in south american countries to avoid being found for other crimes that they face in their countries. I will not be surprise if this man owe something somewhere; and did anybody verify if that was his daughter, he looks too old for me to have a 2 year old daughter, maybe the other guy was defending that girl. Our system is so croaked that you never know this days who is the real victim. Open your eyes people.

  18. It's nuts says:

    Sofia, welcome to the board. You must be the wife of Mr, attempted murderer to make comments like that. Now you are saying the Canadian shouldn’t have a 2 yr old child. Didn’t realize that at 40 years of age you are too old to have a child ! And he must be hiding out in Belize from something……..?????What nonsense! Do you think if he was hiding he would give an jnterview to the International media.The man is a member of the business community in Benque. He contributes and donates and sponsors youth in the community.
    Has organized many community projects and done nothing but try to help the town of Benque.
    Has lived in Benque for a number of years and has a Belzean wife and child.
    Now do you want to say the wife is a criminal too for marrying him.
    Shame on you!

    Call it what it is attempted murder on two people! The entire community is enraged especially since the attacker was released back into the community of San Antonio and put right next to a school.!,
    If the attacker is crazy he should be locked up in a mental institution and if he is not nuts, then he should stand trial for 2 counts of attempted murder.
    I don’t think anyone wants this kind of animal around their children.

  19. Just another gringo in Belize says:

    I have to say that I know the victim and his family personally and they are devastated. Never will you have met a more nicer family that has contributed greatly to the community. From helping youth to donating money, to helping people with housing. Garbage cleanup campaigns at the riverside in Benque. The victim came here to relax and help the community, not be attacked.

    No one deserves and especially a 2 yr old to lose their life. To a crazed attacker.

    LOCK CRIMINALS LIKE THIS UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!

    Or give them a taste of their own medicine back. It’s no wonder alot of people are starting to apply for gun permits for protection..

    If it would have happened to me. I would have shot the attacker right then and there after the first attack with the machete.

    If someone survives an attack they get criticized , If they die then that’s too bad they become a statistic, why are we sticking up for murderers???

    I along with many other concerned people will be showing up in court on the 27th of March in Cayo to show our support for the victim and his 2 year old daughter.!

  20. two cents says:

    I have to say that the crimes against foreigners are increasing alot. Most foreigners are lucrative targets for many reasons.

    1. Usually they carry cash and jewellery.
    2. They wont travel back and forth to see a trial through if the attacker/robber is apprehended.
    3. The low conviction rate 6% gives the criminal confidence he wont be convicted.
    4. Belizean families are large and will probably hunt the attacker down if justice is not served, thru the courts.

    So much easier to go after a tourist.

    With a large portion of Belizes income coming from tourism and investment, that is dropping like a stone.

    As far as our crime statistics going down, they are way up. Just the police have stopped reporting them, so the numbers look better.
    Look around your neighbourhood where you live in Belize. We can all name someone who has been victimized by crime. Its getting worse.

  21. christine trionfetti says:

    i know this is old news …but while i was staying at Steves place …my husband got in touch with the embassy of U.S. and had me put in the psychiatric ward of belmopan…under fault pretent of having me checked out at a hospital because a big bus hit my car and to see if i was hurt …so i went …yes i did singed papers…that i could not see because i can not see up close….i was in there for almost two months …it was the worst place i have ever been in …no phone to use and no one knew i was in there but for my husband ..my husband used the time to steal money from our house and bank accounts.and move out of our house because we were in a divorce and he used this time to seal from our house…how easy was it to use the embassy …i was released to Steve and his wife ..he saw how bad i was doing from all the abuse i got in the hospital …so balize is beautiful but so lawless and inhumane i feel so sorry for steve and child he wants to make a home for his family …i think he was set up for something that he did or did not do ?i am still getting help for my ptsd…from the hospital …

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