Thursday 20 September, 2018

Attacks on the homeless need to stop

'Ninja Man' being peppersprayed by an unknown assailant

'Ninja Man' being peppersprayed by an unknown assailant

'Ninja Man' and other homeless persons who have suffered abuse and harassment at the hands of others will get some justice if the Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society (BVHS) has its way.

Reminding that the pepper spray incident recently with Ninja man, real name Anthony Fitzpatrick Lynch was not the first case, President of the BVHS, Kemar Saffrey said it was the first time the evidence was there for all to see and review.

Saffrey said that it is his hope that in cases when the evidence is blatant that with or without the consent of the victim that the Society can pursue the matter.

“It [abuse of the homeless] has been around for years, the only thing is that we could not have done anything and it again goes back to the client. Some of these guys are very sceptical about going to the police and going to complain.

“But they have been suffering. We still get incidents every day; abuse, persons hitting homeless. We had a guy who said his feet were run over by a jeep. We had a guy come into the office the other day with a swollen back like if one of his bones was broken above the shoulder. So there are numerous incidents. We have people come in with their faces bruised up and so that is something that we definitely have to sit with the Public Relations Officer with the police and discuss to get it out to the public.”

In regard to Ninja Man’s case specifically, Saffrey said,

“He has to lay the formal complaint according to what the police are saying.”

The problem which delayed the process was that the Society didn’t know he was in Psychiatric, but now they are waiting for the nurses to tend to him and a meeting is set for this week.

“We will have the meeting with him this week hopefully … and then we will be able to talk to him to see how he wants to proceed from there. However, he wishes to proceed we will go forward with it as he can but if not we will just put out a public awareness about the abuse of the homeless.”

He insisted that if Ninja Man doesn’t wish to pursue the matter, “we would have a press conference with the PRO of police to put something in place where persons could be prosecuted for harassment or abusing the homeless even without them having to go lay a complaint. If it is something made evident, I don’t see why they should have to go.”