-Reg. 3 Commander says ranks never chased him
REGIONAL Commander for Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Errol Watts, said contrary to the report surrounding the death of 21-year-old Mahendra Deopaul, the police did not give chase when he sped away on his motorcycle, on Sunday night, in La Parfaite Harmonie.
Watts also revealed that an individual who said he was an eyewitness has confessed that he was not at the scene at the time of the accident. That person was later arrested for giving a false statement to the police.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle via telephone on Tuesday, Commander Watts said notwithstanding a police report issued on Monday stating that the police “chase behind [Deopaul’s] motorcycle,” that was not the case. Watts said that although Deopaul did speed away, investigations revealed that the police did not pursue him.
“He [Deopaul] saw the police vehicle, and then he rode away in a very fast manner on a rough street. GWI recently did some repairs on the street and there’s a pipe across and a gaping hole and he flicked over that. The police never chased him. After the police observed what happened they went after him to pick him up and render assistance and he subsequently died. It was not a police chase,” Watts emphasised.
According to the police report, Deopaul died early Monday morning at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, where he was taken after he sustained injuries when his motorcycle crashed on the Parfait Harmonie Public Road at 23:45 hours on Sunday night.
It said Deopaul crashed after he sped away from a patrolling police pick-up, which had attempted to stop him after it was observed that he was riding without a helmet.
In the process of evading the police, the report said “the motorcyclist ended up driving into
potholes along the said road where he lost control of the motorcycle and fell onto the road surface where he received injuries about his face and body.” He was then picked up by the police and taken to the hospital.
However, Deopaul’s family members have since alleged that all is not adding up in the reports of how the young man met his demise.
A video purportedly made by a family member of the accident scene has been posted online. The relative claims that there is too significant a distance between the area where the police said the accident occurred and where parts of the motorcycle and Deopaul’s footwear were eventually found.
At least one social media page has also mentioned the existence of an “eyewitness” who alleges that Deopaul was hit by the police vehicle when it chased him.
Watts told the Guyana Chronicle that the police made contact with an eyewitness and arrested him.
“A man came forward and said he saw the police chasing the vehicle. We subsequently did an investigation and that was not so. He is in custody and he is going to be charged… for giving false information,” Watts explained to this publication. The man was expected be charged on Wednesday. This publication was unable to confirm whether he had made a court appearance.
“He said he was at the scene but when we go on the ground and investigate and ask him where the accident occurred and where he saw the police, he admitted that he wasn’t there. He’s in the lock-ups right now. It’s his friend [and] they were drinking all day.”
Watts said he met with the man’s parents to offer condolences to the family and to discuss the situation.