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Facebook felon breaks out of POS prison; Live Wire investigates drama

Well, that was bacchanal. Trinidad and Tobago was so hot yesterday even Jack Warner considered asking the US Attorney General for a plane ticket.

At around noon yesterday, Port of Spain inmate Hassan Atwell and two fellow prisoners Allan “Scanny” Martin and Christopher “Monster” Selby made a daring jailbreak.

Photo: An inmate has IT issues.
Photo: An inmate has IT issues.

But first, they had to wait for the 41-year-old Atwell to update his Facebook page with the usual rant about his unwillingness to bend to the oppressive nature of incarceration and to share a “Ent! Breaking News” video.

Of course, thousands of employees across the country do not have access to Facebook at their work place. But Atwell does not seem to be a “glass half-full” kinda guy.

Maybe he wanted Skype.

Incidentally, prior to today, Atwell was not actually guilty of anything, despite spending the last 10 years in prison. Not yet anyway.

Like Warner, Atwell is fighting an extradition request from the United States. While the Chaguanas West MP was allegedly fond of shaking down television companies and World Cup bidding nations for the right to show and host football matches, Atwell’s alleged gig was kidnapping wealthy young men and demanding ransom from their relatives.

Warner remains Chaguanas West MP, holds national press conferences, routinely taunts the Attorney General and United States authorities and spends his free time sparring with international comedians. Atwell was refused bail and probably—but not certainly—has not seen HBO in a while.

Photo: Inmate Hassan Atwell shows off his suspicious fashion sense.
Photo: Inmate Hassan Atwell shows off his suspicious fashion sense.

It just goes to show that one can never be too careful in picking his or her criminal trade.

One of the three men shot and killed 27-year-old Constable Sherman Maynard, who was on guard duty outside the prison walls, during their escape in which the men were armed with guns and a grenade.

Mr Live Wire cannot confirm whether Atwell received the weapons in an email attachment.

Martin was shot dead by police at the Port of Spain General Hospital, just after 1 pm, although Atwell and Selby remain at large.

From there on, Port of Spain went into meltdown.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told citizens that the Government was “in full control” and nobody had anything to fear “so long as I am your Prime Minister.”

Strangely, that did not help calm citizens.

Opposition Leader Keith Rowley was campaigning in south Trinidad at the time. But he did have the PNM treasurer and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee on location.

Photo: TTFA president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women's World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Tim Kee told the Trinidad Express that he was traumatised but assured everyone that his own security was heightened. He went on to say that it is sad when a policeman is killed and there was plenty of traffic, rumours and panic in the capital.

Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that the Express reporter replied: That’s it?! I could flipping get that on Facebook!

As always, there was plenty fodder for conspiracists.

Atwell’s brother, Hamid Ali, was charged, just hours earlier, for the murder of Dana Seetahal SC. His other brother Rajaee Ali, who is a former murder accused and contractor for the Government’s LifeSport programme, is already in police custody for the conspiracy to murder DJ Kevaughn “Lurbz” Savory, who is believed to have had an affair with the wife of ex-Sport Minister Anil Roberts.

Apparently, there are Gru Gru trees with less thorns than the Ali family.

Ali (R) is the son of Hassan Ali who is the Imam for the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen’s Carapo mosque and he leads prayers there himself as well.

It meant another round of questions to Imam Yasin Abu Bakr and his son Fuad Abu Bakr, the political leader of the NNV party, on whether their religious sect was housing and benefitting from crime.

Photo: NNV political leader Fuad Abu Bakr. (Copyright Orleen Orr)
Photo: NNV political leader Fuad Abu Bakr.
(Copyright Orleen Orr)

“The individuals who they say escaped from prison have been in prison for 11 or 12 years, so if they are members of anything they are members of the prison,” said Abu Bakr (F). “We know there are concerns regarding people affiliated with us. We have come here to say we have nothing to do with the criminal acts.”

Say what you like about young Abu Bakr. But don’t forget to call him a politician. He would fit in just fine in Parliament.

Of course, Government interests seem to run alarmingly close to several criminal cases at the moment, not least the Seetahal murder, which, according to the police, might have been organised by persons who were on the LifeSport payroll at the time.

Four years ago, attorney David West, who is now the PCA chairman, found it “passing strange” that then AG Anand Ramlogan did not appeal a ruling against extradition for UNC financiers Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson since Atwell was in a similar situation.

So should everyone with a criminal matter before the local courts be considered safe from extradition?

“It is passing strange that the State loses one application before a single High Court judge in a complex and highly politically charged case and deems it not fit to appeal,” said West. “An appeal is necessary to clarify this ‘grey’ area in the law…

Photo: Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
Photo: Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.

“Two other accused persons, Hassan Atwell and Gary Govindass are also in this same predicament by having a local charge existing whilst extradition proceedings are ongoing.”

Earlier this week, Works Minister and Tabaquite MP Suruj Rambachan unveiled a $14 million State project that was completed by Galbaransingh’s Aztec Asphalt Pavers company.

Rambachan scoffed at any suggestion that maybe the Government should not be handing taxpayers’ money over to men who are hiding from the law—albeit doing so in plain sight.

“He is free to bid and tender for any project,” said Rambachan. “I don’t think the UNC should distance themselves from him at all.”

Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj, whose ministry oversaw the tendering process, sang from the same hymn sheet.

“Why should we distance ourselves? Is it that he is not allowed to do business in Trinidad?” asked Maharaj, knowing full well that Trinidad is the perfect place for men like Galbaransigh to do business.

Photo: Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan (right) shares a tender moment with UNC financier Ish Galbaransingh who is wanted for corruption by the United States Government.
Photo: Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan (right) shares a tender moment with UNC financier Ish Galbaransingh who is wanted for corruption by the United States Government.

On Friday, Atwell decided that he deserved to be free to do business too. So, he updated his Facebook page and then blasted his way out of jail, leaving a dead officer in his wake.

The media called it a “brazen” escape.

Warner and Galbaransingh, who allegedly influenced the last general election with ill-gotten money, must have read the news and shaken their heads disapprovingly, even as their attorneys continue to stave off extradition. This place gone through, oui.

Photo: Police Constable Sherman Maynard (right) who was tragically shot dead yesterday while trying to uphold law and order in Trinidad and Tobago.
Photo: Police Constable Sherman Maynard (right) who was tragically shot dead yesterday while trying to uphold law and order in Trinidad and Tobago.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 wishes to offer sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Constable Sherman Maynard, who was tragically killed in the line of duty while trying to keep Trinidad and Tobago safe.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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176 comments

  1. From a police source, the grenade was thrown at his feet as he alighted the vehicle and he left his automatic weapon in the jeep which should NOT have happened. If you look at both clips, timing explains this unfortunate tragedy.

  2. This will haunt that senior officer for the rest of his life. The police were unfortunately casual & WERE let down by corrupt prison officers let 3 armed men ‘walk out’ the prison entrance!

  3. The youngster got put in place.

  4. He didn’t even try to go behind the van to support his colleague by returning fire. And after he drove the van there in the first place and put Constable Sherman right in harm’s way.

  5. And being scared is no excuse.

  6. sooooooooo…am armed police officer…..supposedly armed with police training as well…encounters gunfire on him and his colleague…responds by running almost a block away…then returns after the smoke dies down? as hoppy and dem does do on d radio…he need to get a long hard flush!!!!!

  7. Here we go:
    According to ASP Pierre, “On July 24 at 12.30 p.m., PC Maynard of the Port of Spain Patrol Unit was on duty outside the Port of Spain Remand Yard (prison) (with PC Darlington Francis), and while performing their duty they heard loud noises and an explosion emanating from the Port of Spain prison.

    “The officer in charge of the vehicle drove to the entrance of the prison, which is located on the western side of Frederick Street, and as he exited the vehicle the officer observed a male assailant armed with a firearm firing shots in his direction and that of PC Maynard, who was seated in the front passenger seat of the police vehicle. Then the male assailant made his escape.”

    He continued, “The officer returned to the vehicle and found PC Maynard suffering from gunshot wounds to his body. PC Maynard was rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries at 2.03 p.m. while being attended to.”

  8. VERY “tongue in Cheek” Double speak. Extremely funny but, logical.

  9. One thing you didn’t mention… Is the proposed floating museum to add a sense of national pride to the prisoners and prison officers
    Could not have composed a better political satyr than this re this incident

  10. RIP PC Maynard, May God grant you eternal rest, and may be extend a hand of comfort and guidance to your family.

  11. I need to find a bigger rock yuh know Nicole?
    Fuh real!

  12. Vernal Damion Cadoganlike you living under a rock boy

  13. How many times did I say all the escapees will be killed then blamed for Dana’s murder?

  14. Reports indicate Hassan Atwell has been killed. Police say they are not responsible.

  15. Dennis Allen I agree the hospital shooting very suspect. I would not call it murder though but excessive use of force, justifiable under the circumstances. But it is clear it was a shooting and not a shootout men was gathering cool cool before the barrage. The suspect might have been out of ammo by then. My question is where was the officer shot and by whom. To pull such a mission off it’s a given that there had to be help inside and probably outside the walls.
    We understand the workings and shortcomings of the system that after training day with the shield and for pride and glory it’s possible to get in too deep.
    It is passing strange that prior knowledge of a breakout attempt was had and a young bright going places officer posted and not a gangster. For Bernadette and Philip’s sake all bases should be covered

  16. What concerns me most about this and other incidents is the total alarm and panic. The inability of the myriad of agencies to assume control and the chaos that ensures. This wasn’t 9/11 but POS was gridlocked and despite the PMs assurances panic was widespread. If this place we ever to have a large scale emergency, well you dwell on that one! POS is a major hub, I have yet to witness an incident occurring without it being gridlocked. Telling people get out ah tong, is a pretty lame evacuation plan. And why employers sending people home early, that only creating more confusion. I am not a police officer, nor part of the NOC but I know chaos when I see it and that was most evident as far as this incident was concerned. We have a police service that is not fit for purpose, demoralised and disrepected. Poor and inadequate training, worse management and a judicial system that is beyond a joke. Crime flourishes because people are unlikely to be caught and if caught are unlikely to be convicted. Hanging wouldn’t change that! There are good people in the police service but they are stymied by the system.

  17. What disturbed me most about the hospital killing of Skanny ways the killshot heard a few seconds after the barrage. That to me is murder

  18. That whole thing just too lackadaisical. How the ass the man open the gate? Where the snipers? We used to hear about men jumping the wall but now men skip that and shooting their way out.. And let’s admit it: they had to get those arms via a prisons officer. Blood on their own hands. It’s one of their own that put that gun in the man hands–either directly or they allowed it to happen

  19. And Ian Gooding you’re living in la la land as usual as your brain cannot compute.

  20. Well, he much smarter than you.

  21. My brain just can’t comprehend how the weapons got past the prisons officers in the first place especially as Senior Personnel knew something was going down and they beefed up security at all prisons. I’m missing something here or else i just plain stupid.

  22. As seen in this discussion, although we have a film, there are still to many unknowns for us to go off blindly casting aspersions. As a result, I believe, we should question before we accuse. That was my point from jump. Ok Lasana Liburd and Nicole Ulerie? Peace.

  23. Junior Noel the thing about this incident is the evidence becoming available to both the police and public at the same time. The questions being asked, I think, should be by any unbiased investigator. Even if it points to an angle not being explored.

  24. Two of them were in the vehicle

  25. The grenade as I understand it was thrown at the police vehicle but did not go off. You want to give people something to speculate about? Were alll police officers in the vehicle at the time the grenade was thrown?

  26. There are many unknows. Example, wasn’t a grenade found at the scene? If so, when was it thrown? How would we as “honest” people deal with a grenade thrown at us? Stand up and face it, or run? Bear in mind the word honest before we respond.

  27. He ran up the street just before the prisoners ran out, so he may have heard something.

  28. And then he didn’t just run up the street. He ran up the street, ran across the road, and then came back after all the gunfire was done… that’s what’s on the video. So suppose you hear something that makes you run up the street… you not hearing gunshots to make you run back down?

  29. It would’ve been great to have audio.

  30. And then wasn’t the vehicle moving in the video? So as soon as the vehicle stops, you jump out and run? And you supposed to be guarding the prison? The video is confusing because the actions don’t add up.

  31. I agree with you, Lasana Liburd. Nicole Philip Greene, I actually find the police officer running up the street extremely odd. If it’s serious, why not take your partner with you? Unless they are splitting up to cover different entrances or something, police officers move together. It’s unusual to split up.

  32. Because my two eyes saw a man running up the street Nicole Philip Greene. Roodal Moonilal might tell you it was a pony. What would you say then?

  33. Did the police use training? If not, then why didn’t they?
    And being scared might be a reason. But it isn’t an acceptable one. You are supposed to face scary situations from time to time if you are a police man.

  34. Nicole Philip Greene, I can point to exactly where my speculation comes from. That’s the beauty of having video. I never said I’m certain about this entire play.
    But there are some things we don’t need an independent panel to tell us. And one is the guy running up the street.

  35. Well I have an uncle, now deceased, who was a former police commissioner who could not tell me enough times that training for police officers is not what it used to be. I think he said they were trained for twice as long and couldn’t leave camp for X amount of time yadda yadda. I never really took him on because you know how old folks always think back in the day was better. But with the way things are now… I can’t help but wonder. Idk that jail breaks are/should be included in police training anywhere as police are not usually present for those events. But I would think that police officers should be trained for an ambush. But again, two/three police officers rolling around to me is not enough for how hot this country is.

  36. That is what I was getting at Chabeth Haynes.

  37. I would expect that the police should have some mechanism in their van to notify other police officers or headquarters or whoever of something. So if there are only two or three of them and there is some sound or something that is so severe to cause concern, they would be able to radio in, instead of dividing their already small numbers and going it alone at different locations.

  38. But, we continue to speculate. As a police office; I was never trained to deal with a jail break.

  39. A warning how? Assuming somebody is monitoring the cameras, and you see madness going on in the jail, you’re really studying to tell people on Frederick Street or you studying to try to secure the jail before it’s a full blown prisoners’ revolt?

  40. I, in the case of the police here, would have been expecting a warning or something, hence the reason I mention monitoring of cameras etc.

  41. Those two or three police officers sitting in a car were ill equipped to deal with a jail break. That is clear. If they were, the situation would not have become what it is. Security in general in this country is ridiculously laxed. You cannot guard something by sitting in a car. You have to stand by the exit/entrance with some big ass guns. If you are sitting in a car observing, you are staking out.

  42. Chabeth Haynes, in addition, they police were too close the exit (not enough time to effectively deal with the situation). Not enough time to have a coordinated or sensible response to the situation in my opinion.

  43. Junior Noel, deal with what is on film but then you talk about who is monitoring the cameras? Whoever it was, if it was anyone at all, isn’t on film? The police officer running away from the vehicle is on film. That’s the issue that Lasana Liburd was tackling and y’all got vex. So you want him to deal with what’s on film or you want him to deal with what you want addressed?

  44. And if you look at the video, the guy walking down the street does turn around at about the same time that the police officer runs away so who knows if there was a distraction or not. Either way, like I said in the other thread, police officers need to start moving in larger numbers. Two or three police officers sitting in a vehicle outside a jail could never constitute beefed up security. What if it had been 5 escapees instead of three? Nobody knows what’s coming… but neither the training nor the policies seems to be setting officers up to excel in their jobs. That’s not to say poor performance should be excused but rather that people can’t outperform their skills and the tools available to them.

  45. For example, who was monitoring the cameras? Isn’t it that person’s job to make an alarm at the immediate sight of trouble?

  46. In the situation presented on the film, there are many questions to be answered before even getting to the actions or lack thereof of the police here. But, it is easy to zero in on the police. Lasana Liburd deal with what is presented in the film. Don’t go jumping on your merry horse about what happened with “your” famous gang of police.

  47. I don’t think anybody is saying anybody else’s job is sacrosanct, Lasana Liburd. Think some people would just prefer an end to the speculation since we really don’t know. The guy who we are now calling the police officer who ran away/abandoned his post was previously a fourth accomplice to escape in this same thread.

  48. I believe what my eye showed me Nicole. A shot was fired and a police officer ran out a police vehicle and away from seeming danger and what appeared to be his colleague in said police vehicle

  49. Exactly Lasana Liburd. I will never understand this belief that police officer are beyond reproach.

  50. But who cares about getting the facts first. Let’s crucify them first and ask questions after.

  51. If–and I am not sure this is the case here–a policeman abandons his post and runs off at the first sign of trouble, should we run his back and give him a medal anyway?
    And then when a gang of 12 policemen descend on a two boys with one knife between them and leave no witnesses, everyone cheers and says how brave they are.
    You can’t have it both ways.
    You either did your job well. Or you didn’t.

  52. Nobody’s job is sacrosanct. I don’t believe in sacred cows.
    I say cheer the good cops and jeer the bad ones.
    You don’t have to be a past or present officer to criticize a policeman. Just like you don’t have to be a past or present journalist to criticize one.

  53. Nicholas Lochan I was once one of those you speak of. Football has me alive today from 25 years ago this week. If wasn’t football I would have been in the exact location give or take a few yards of PC Solomon McCloud on that faithful evening around 6:00 pm. So, people like Nicole can be armchair critics all they want. Who in the kitchen feels the heat! Like I said, carry on smartly.

  54. Nicholas. I’m fed up to my ears of police officers thinking they’re beyond reproach. The actions of that officer was UNACCEPTABLE and in a real country he would have been unemployed when that video footage was reviewed. But if three men with handguns are outnumbering and outrunning three police officers what exactly is the reason we even have a police service?!

  55. Actually Nicole… I’m sure you did not mean it but your previous comment did come across a bit tasteless [saving some change] esp. for those of us who have family in the Police Service & know each time they leave for work could be the last time we see them.

  56. I remember Bernadette James and Philip Salvary

  57. Never question the actions of police officers. They’re all beyond reproach and perfect in every way!! Look, hold a big long watery steups eh Junior!!!

  58. I haven’t seen anyone disrespect the dead constable.

  59. Who’s trivialising? A young police man was apparently shot dead while his partner hopped out of the van and ran up the street.
    You don’t think there should be an enquiry into that?
    Our justice system let three criminals go. I think people are within their rights to speculate.

  60. One young budding office with, from all indications, a very bright future is dead, yet we trivialize and disrespect his passing with some dumb ass notions (excuse my language). No wonder we are where we are.

  61. In one police vehicle with two officers there’s at least two mp-5s with extra clips and two 9 mm with extra clips. Outgunned really?

  62. LOL…i know that my tax dollars paid to train police officers…and I’m well aware of the capabilities of some of these criminals…but if that’s the excuse of the police for cowardice is bess we disband the TTPS and save ourselves a lil change

  63. I think you’re being ignorant to believe these prisoners are untrained. But, carry on smartlym

  64. Point taken. Here’s my questions. Both the responses by the police vehicle and the build up outside the guard booth were unusually casual. If a man hit that jeep should have been hightailing it out

  65. 3 armed untrained prisoners against at least 2 supposedly trained officers is outnumbered and outgunned?

  66. Self preservation is a hell of a thing! I guess if you’re outnumbered and outgunned you would not take evasive action?

  67. Sterling Simon in the video from inside the prison all three are armed…do you think he suddenly decided to discard his weapon in the wake of police descending upon him?

  68. but Junior Noel…why did the officer run out of the vehicle and up Frederick Street only to return after the escapees had made their way across New Street?

  69. All my statements have been speculative. But if construed differently I humbly withdraw.

  70. Nicole Ulerie you are smart, if you follow the latter part of the thread the competence and training of the deceased officer comes into question. Also, the actions of the police in the death of the escapee at the hospital is questioned.

  71. I think Junior is correct. IMO Sterling’s suggestion [while possible] doesn’t have evidence except what we hear from bystanders. We can’t really see what goes in in that booth.

  72. Junior. How exactly you get to anti police?! You trying to sound like prison officers that say is d government fault dem men had guns to shoot their way out of prison and all prison officers are angels

  73. Ask questions, but not make bold statements. In the absence of evidence our statements are beginning to take a certain slant, that, in my opinion, can be dangerous given what we are faced with currently.

  74. Not anti police. The whole incident sparks a lot of questions which need be asked. Officers were well within their remit.

  75. And now the thread goes anti-police!! As Earl Mango Pierre always says “dem really good yes!”

  76. Also looks like they dragged him out and shot him on the ground

  77. I can’t rule out that the police may have been cowards Nicholas Lochan. But every job has some sort of training for match day.
    Unless those are OJTs in that van, I won’t excuse that. Why didn’t he reverse then? He got out and ran?
    Makes no sense.
    Why would I with the driver’s key abandon my vehicle in a crisis?

  78. The hospital shooting too have some inconsistencies. The female voice saying ” they go kill him ” suggests he might not have been armed.

  79. Nicholas Lochan, I suspect you may be right! Somebody on another thread pointed out that the guy runs away and then returns.

  80. I can’t speak for him but facing armed prisoners running out the entrance must evoke panic. Esp if you have no idea how many coming out. The best training still can’t replicate the reality 🙁

  81. Nicholas Lochan made me laugh ?

  82. He thought it was a jail break so he hopped out and ran up the street? That would be hilarious and tragic at the same time.

  83. I thought it was a policeman who got scared from the thrown grenade or thinking it was a jail break.

  84. I’m still trying to figure out if the fourth man was actually inside the police van. Or came from somewhere else. He ran up the road.
    What’s the theory there? When was Sherman shot do you think?

  85. All dem ppl who posting on Atwell page should be questioned as well

  86. Well that is what I thought I saw as well Lasana Liburd but Nicholas Lochan put doubt in my head ?

  87. Not only were they four men from what I see. The fourth man was key. It is he who shot the policeman!

  88. Hear nah. Dis place SWEET inno!!!!?

  89. Nicole Ulerie, I just got a call from a retired policeman who told me to check the actions of a fourth person in the video too. Maybe you’re not wrong. I have to look again.

  90. Nicole it’s 3. The 4th figure is really a policeman running out his jeep to either evade bullets or the grenade that was thrown.

  91. Yep. Saw the one from inside as well as on the street. Didn’t notice anybody shot. But it looked like 4 people running away to me though. Not 3

  92. There is video footage of the men escaping and then running on to Frederick Street. I’m not sure where Maynard was shot. I didn’t see any sign of the policeman stationed outside the prison walls that the DCP posted about though.

  93. very well written (exceptional journalism as usual) and the comments under the post equally stirring, because like you said its not black and white, there are several shades of grey and in this murky mist, we the citizens are blinded by the corruption of our judicial system our society will say Selby and Atwell are monsters but is Brad Boyce considered a monster for instance??? #askvolney

  94. Thanks again, this hurts real deep while you work and pay taxes money being stolen by these boldface scoundrels

  95. …Everybody needs to remember that the next time they do something to inconvenience the public in defence of their right to proper wages and working conditions…

  96. Every single time a police officer dons his uniform and reports for duty there is.a chance he may be killed on duty. So his death as tragic as it was is an occupational hazard

  97. I heard he was wearing one but that he got shot in the shoulder and lower abdomen. The lower abdomen one I was told was the fatal one. It was below the vest. This is just what I was told. Don’t know how true it is.

  98. I wouldn’t say minor. True. And my heart definitely goes out to the family of the young man.
    I think I read somewhere that he is a second year law student. And he is only in the police service for two years.
    So I’m guessing he joined to force to give him such opportunities to better himself.
    Was he the best bet to be on guard duty? Or am I molly cuddling him to suggest that?
    Dunno. But it is sad. I would like to know if he was wearing a bullet proof vest for instance.

  99. Lasana Liburd, the circumstances are different, and one may be more expected that the other, but the grief is no different for either family. Either way, I am uncomfortable with designating an incident that results in loss of life as minor. Especially when the death was as a result of violence.

  100. Chabeth Haynes, a policeman shot during an escape while guarding the prison is a tragic occupational hazard. But isn’t that very different to if a pedestrian lost their life?

  101. I don’t recall saying anything about police negligence. But I will say this…you move a prison to a more isolated/less populous location and thing stick out. A parked vehicle in POS does not raise any eyebrows. A parked vehicle outside a prison where there are no other vehicles parked does.

  102. One day maybe we can have a talk too about the perception of inequality. About a man or a group of people who, even if they recognise that they are punished for doing wrong, cannot help but notice that other “criminals” are living the high life quite openly.
    Peter pay for Paul as they say. But it kinda fuels a thought process that if the priest could play…

  103. 1. An incident that results in death should not be considered a minor area of concern. Hopefully the brave and now tragically deceased police officer’s family does not read that remark. Something does not need to happen every day for it to be an important issue. Category 5 hurricanes don’t happen every day but they are major causes of concern. I never said relocation of the prison was the most important issue, I said something to the effect of what will it take for the authorities to move the prison. Do we need escapees to hold 50 people in the hospital hostage? Do we need escapees to run across to a nearby school and hold children hostage?

  104. I think it’s not that all of our crimes are unsolvable, it’s that there is little motivation to actually solve them unless foreign governments apply pressure.

  105. Whey we dey TT? AND what we gonna do if Lasana migrates……or changes profession. Waaay more in di mortar dan di pestle.

  106. Or that they would come here and solve it themselves. Another case for re-colonisation. 🙁

  107. Seriously though, we’ve always known that.
    If an American is murdered or kidnapped in Trinidad there is a higher likelihood the crime would be solved.

  108. Vernal Damion Cadogan, like my Trinidad and Tobago passport is no good. Crimes against American citizens are serious business. Nothing else.
    Although some crimes are classier than others and you get bail.

  109. Rachel Price
    I have a secret for those that consider me chupid.
    *whispering* I think so tooooo! ?
    However I’d have you know I’m not alone in the Chupid Club.
    We have many many many others…
    But you don’t just get to join us easily.. yuh has to PROVE yuh is worthy of our elite chupid company.

    In our Chupid Club we believe vehicles drive themselves without keys.
    In our Chupid Club conveniently parked vans (with sufficient gas) are just concealed in the rectums of detained prisoners!

    In our Chupid Club the assholes of prisoners are made up of stretchable flesh capable of holding car keys, cars and money alongside cell phones, guns and hand grenades.

    In our Chupid Club the Jail located smack in the middle of out country’s Capitol has nooooo camera surveillance.

    In our Chupid Club no one has info and records on incoming and outgoing calls..
    As a matter of fact in our Chupid Club cell phone batteries NEVER die!!!
    As matter of fact in Jail the non-dying cell phones can be charged in the Self Charging walls..
    It’s only fair to note that cell phones that do not die are NOT charged by prison officers.
    C’mon this is the Chupid Club!

    In our Chupid Club we’re just…
    blessed

  110. You know I never considered that Trinidad’s adherence to class wpuld inevitably lead to differing statuses of kidnap victims?

  111. Interestingly, remember the hit captured on CCTV cameras and shown on Crime Watch where a man walks up to a man and guns him down?
    That man, Darren Painter, was a co-accused with Hassan Atwell on another kidnapping charge. He out on bail and had nice cellular and auto-rental business going.
    Know the difference in him getting to live life on the outside and Atwell’s Vernal Damion Cadogan? The only thing I could see is that one of Atwell’s alleged kidnappings was an American which made him a higher priority.
    There are so many issues involved in this story.

  112. Where’s the CJ in all of this? Maybe he should be truthful to the us as to why all this “reform” is taking so long.

  113. There are many issues and reasons for concern in our justice system methinks. If the presumed “criminals” that the police catch can be in cells for 10 years without being convicted of anything yet.
    Then, one way or the other, it is a travesty of justice.

  114. Agreed. We need a revamp of the entire justice system From the court house to the police service to the prisons. Because the only problem relocation will solve is an infrastructure one in the short term. Prison breaks here, while they shouldn’t happen, are few and far apart so that’s a minor area of concern imo.

  115. That’s why the Indictable Offenses Bill sounded like a good idea – until the PP fashioned it to free “Itch and Stitch” via section 34.

  116. And a big part of the problem is an intentional loophole left to criminals called the preliminary inquiry.

  117. There is a broader discussion to be had on justice as well. A man is in prison for 10 years without being convicted?
    I knock the police plenty. But here we have the capture of what could well be a career criminal and the courts can’t get the job done.

  118. I learned more about what happened here than all the other news outlets combined! Thanks

  119. new day coming after the 7th

  120. Gaiven Clairmont

    Being a first world country is more than vision 20/20 or 20/30 or 20/40, its about changing our mindsight about global issues and having a bit more common sense about things I can’t think of any first world country that has a prison in the middle of the nation’s capital and not in an isolated area just to name an example. Definitely excellent points were raised in this post, it gives hope that there are right thinking persons amidst the haze of stupidity that seems to be more prevalent.

  121. Additionally, nobody should be able to park an escape vehicle outside a prison. That is madness. Escapees should at least have to be on foot for some miles.

  122. This is real shit, what is going on in this country

  123. There are places where foot and vehicular traffic are less than other places and where accessibility isn’t as great. That’s the first thing. The second thing is I am not a “town people” so I don’t know what you are attempting to insinuate.

  124. Nah you really ought not have prisons in well populated areas, ideally they should be isolated.

  125. Or is it that town people feel once is somebody else problem is all good?!

  126. Ummmmm. Unless it’s down d islands. That’s kinda true anywhere a prison is

  127. Solve which problem? The crime problem? The escaping from prison problem? It solves neither of those. But you put a prison somewhere where there aren’t a lot of ppl and where there aren’t multiple escape routes and you reduce the possibility of innocent lives being threatened, traumatised and lost and you give yourself a better chance of recapture.

  128. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
    First thing first we need prison reform.

  129. In case of jail break the surrounding population is threatened, it also offers escapees sanctuary.

  130. How is relocating the prison going to solve the problem though?

  131. Asked whether the escaped prisoners were members of the Jamaat, Abu Bakr’s son, Fuad, said the Jamaat did not have members per se.” And d sun does rise in the west too…

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-07-24/abu-bakr-distances-jamaat-plot

  132. Trinidadians have to reject any administration that refuses to do so.

  133. Not sure what has to happen before the entire jail is relocated…

  134. Once again, very well articulated.

  135. I’m somewhat on the side of the of the Prison officers. Based on the levels of crime, the nature of the crimes, the sophisticated nature of the crimes, my guess is that they are probably ibadly trained to handle these new conditions and stellar personalities behind bars. Imagine for a minute being in their shoes. You have to be really desperate to be underpaid and wake up keen to go to that environment to work every morning for a poor salary. Most just want to get by, support their families. Prohably easy prey for the intelliigent crooks. We are meant to have prison reform, but when will that happen,

  136. That’s why I said I. South American prisons Vernal. That’s not unique to Mexico but the entire continent Is a banana republic ting

  137. In Mexico too Nicole.
    In fact I’m Mexico there are prisons where sections are administered independently by gangs where gang members live with their entire families, have all the amenities of the outside world and have firearms and cellphones.

  138. The Prison Officers Association should rename themselves the Ostrich Association because according to them, all officers are beyond reproach and it’s the government’s fault these things are happening for failing to control what’s happening inside the prison. But I have one question. Who is responsible for maintaining order within the prison walls?!

  139. Nicole Ulerie that’s truly sad and worrisome, then who guarding the guards? The prison officers association are complaining of their vulnerability but it seems like some of their membership are aiding and abetting the inmates. How much help would be the jammers and scanners Praky was mentioning if these things are currently going on inside the prison walls?

  140. Actually Greer that’s not quite true. In South American prisons there are drug kingpins that live exactly as they do on the outside just in prison. I’ve know someone that worked in the prison system in the BVI and the prisoners all have better smart phones than the POs. there was even one drug accused that acted as a money lender for the POs. I think that is what happens in most under developed nations

  141. Brilliant as usual. Only in this country can such rubbish occur where as prisoner can be posting pics on fb that were taken inside the prison walls. When the PM said we had nothing to fear as long as she is PM. I tell you my fear increased. Ppl not serious in this country when Atwell was aided and abetted by a PH driver who was giving advice which areas to avoid.

  142. Brilliant, as usual Lasana, but if the whole situation weren’t so serious, it’d be funny. I truly despair for what we’ve become.

  143. Hard not to agree with Kala that writing this piece with its eclectic mix of so many diverse elements and not ever really offending is akin to walking a long tightrope and never once losing your balance. Splendid work! You’re one step closer to the Pulitzer.

  144. On point, as usual, but I don’t know how to feel after this one.

  145. Chabeth, How does one identify an escape vehicle from an ordinary, non-escape vehicle? Is it tagged? Does it carry a special number plate? Do tell…

  146. He had a ‘special visit’ with family members after which he blasted his way out. I’d like to know what’s a ‘special visit’

  147. “Mr Live Wire cannot confirm whether Atwell received the weapons in an email attachment.” – Looking for new Android update…

  148. Lasana well said. Condolences to the family of Constable Maynard. Listening to the utterances of the politicians following this event, could I appeal to you, via Wired, to set up a system of disaster relief? SMH! If we’re faced with any serious emergency, other than Kamla of course, we in deep trouble!

  149. Hahaha. Well I’m still to work out if he is an accidental joker or the real deal.

  150. And people still seem to love both. I wonder whether its the sartorial style.

  151. Ian is sillier than Live Wire if you asked me! ?

  152. If Ian is a fan of Wired, might I suggest that, like Endemol, he diversifies the brand a bit and set up one Crime Watch for petty crimes, like the guys stealing guavas and goat, another for dodgy religious leaders, and one for politicians. Oh, and one for football.

  153. Houses of worship are tainted too. Or maybe they always. The Archbishop defending friendship with Warner and brushing aside collecting dirty money, Pastor Samuel sharing the stage with probably our country’s most crooked govt, Sat’s utterly selfish agenda, the Jamaat’s crime links…

  154. Which is a frightening thought. I think all societes – maybe Bhutan less so – have to deal with a manageable level of criminality. Its par for the course. But I fear that certainly since the 80s and esp since 1990, we have crossed the proverbial Rubicon. It has seeped into everything. A free for all. A hardening of attitudes, in spite of an increase in religious programmes, houses of worship (is it for the tax free status or do they just want to entertain us?). As another commentator said,when Crimewatch is the most anticipated bit of nightly entertainment for the masses while they unwind from the stresses of a manic society, we really need, er, to worry.

  155. Thanks Kala. Just trying to provoke some thought and fresh angles.
    I suspect these going ons are so messy that we might never really get to the bottom of it.

  156. Brilliant piece, Lasana! The ‘mix’ is certainly an whiffy, noxious one, but you manage to negotiate the high wire that is T&T politics, religion and criminality -not to mention FB updating and fashion sense – and Tim Kee (because he deserves a mention all his own) with the grim humour exceedingly well. Top class.