Farmer stoned over golden apples

A 51 year-old farmer from Vendomme, St. George has expressed great disappointment with the lack of police response to a stoning incident, which has left him nursing a major wound over his left eye and another to his left elbow.

Augustus Cambridge disappointed with police response to stoning incident at Vendomme, St. George

Augustus Cambridge disappointed with police response to stoning incident at Vendomme, St. George

In an interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper last week Thursday, Vendomme resident, Augustus Cambridge said he is lucky to be alive following the incident, which occurred on the evening of the

Thanksgiving holiday (October 25) on the premises of his garden, which is located not too far from his home.

Cambridge told this newspaper that while on his way to the garden to pick some ripe golden apples for his wife just after 4.00 p.m, he noticed the culprit, who he identified as his nephew on top of the golden apple tree.

The injured man said he asked the individual to come down from the tree and when he did not do so he (Cambridge) then sought police intervention.

“I asked him to come down (from) the tree and don’t pick the golden apples or else I would (call the police to) lock him up… but he remained on the tree for about 15 to 20 minutes shaking the branches, picking ripe as well as green golden apples,” the farmer said.

According to Cambridge, his nephew, who was accompanied by three little children, satisfied himself by picking at least “one bucket full of golden apples” before climbing down from the Golden-apple tree.

He said when the individual finally “came down from the tree, he told the children to run home and so he assumed that “he (Thomas) was going to leave the garden (at that point) so I didn’t bother with him”.

“When I left going back down to the garden I received a (lash of) stone on my left hand, when I turned around I got another one over my left eye,” he added.

Cambridge stated that at that point he began holding onto his left eye, which was bleeding as a result of the wound from the stone, and soon after he received another blow to his lower back.

“He went and picked up other stones and threw after me but I dodged the rest of stones…I ran after him when he was out of stones and he (Thomas) ran home bare-footed leaving his water boots behind where he took them off to climb the Golden apple tree”, he remarked.

The injured man complained that he called the Central Police Station on the Carenage on 5 occasions but no one showed up.

“I called the 911 even before he started shaking the (golden apple) tree and they put me onto Central and Central told me they will organise and come up.  “When he came down and he pelt the stone and hit me I called back 911 and they put me on to Central, the officer told me they are organising transport to come up.

A bleeding Cambridge spoke of going to his mother’s house where he met his brother, Martin Cambridge (father of the one who attacked him) and relayed what had happened to them.

The injured man said he called back the police station seeking assistance to get to the hospital since  ‘it was difficult to get a transport given that the incident occurred on a public holiday”.

He got assistance from someone who came to visit his sister in reaching the hospital where he received 22 stitches for the injury over his left eye.

Cambridge also said two X-rays were conducted to determine the extent of the damages done to his left elbow and lower back.

“When I reached to the (General) hospital (in St. George’s) I called 911 and asked them to put me onto Central, a female officer answered (and) I asked if they could bring a medical form so that the doctor could fill it out one time, she told me ok (but) a police officer never turned up,” he said.

Cambridge stated that the next day, Wednesday, October 26, he contacted the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which decided to launch an investigation into the incident.

He alleged that one of the CID investigating officers, whom he could not identify by name, told him “Central said they have nothing written in the station’s diary about the incident.”

Cambridge took the decision to visit the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), where he made a report and requested that an investigation be launched into the non-recorded statement of the report made to the Central Police Station about the incident on the farm lands.

“I am disappointed with the police officers at Central Police Station; because I called them on several occasions (and) they didn’t turn up,” he declared.

Cambridge, who has worked the approximately half an acre of land for more than 30 years, has planted Golden apple trees, Coconut trees, Mandarin trees, Plantain, green banana, bluggoe among other fruits and vegetables.

He told THE NEW TODAY that this is not the first time the culprit has been caught engaging in the act of praedial larceny.

“Normally he (would) harvest people’s crops and give it to his mother-in-law or his girlfriend to sell in St. George’s,” Cambridge said.

“This is not the first time he took my produce to sell,” he added, recalling an incident sometime ago, where the accused person stole some French cashews from his land and he was forced to call the police to intervene.

“The Police met his girlfriend selling the cashews in Town, but when she saw the police coming she ran,” Cambridge added.

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