Sunday, December 17, 2017

Alert cops: Just everyday work

Carrera Island inmate recaptured after 9 months on the run

A POLICE corporal and a con­stable last Thursday did what hundreds of police officers and soldiers had tried to do for the last nine months—recapture the country’s most wanted, convicted murderer, David John Pierre. 

Pierre had eluded an air and ground search in both the Northern and Southern Police Divisions since his daring escape from a cell at the Carrera Island prison on June 23. 

And after 278 days on the run, it appeared that during an unguarded moment, he was caught. 

Corporal Roger Nanan and Con­-

stable Curt Persad, who were com­mended by their seniors for their “excellent work and keen powers of observation”, were mod­est about the recapture. 

Nanan told the Sunday Express, “It was everyday police work. It is just that this particular one reached the  media. I prefer not to have my pic­ture taken.” 

Persad did not wish to be inter­viewed and said he was not “a gla­mour police”. 

According to reports, Nanan and Persad were in a marked police vehicle, driving along the Southern Main Road, when at around 3 p.m., Persad spotted Pierre standing along the road near the TECU Buil­ding in Marabella.

As the patrol vehicle neared, Pierre bolted. He ran into New City

Avenue and then into Gopaul Street.

Nanan said Pierre was chased by vehicle and then on foot. 

Pierre attempted to hide behind some parked vehicles but was seen, cornered and detained without a fight. 

Asked if he was not fearful for his life since Pierre was considered “armed and dangerous”, Nanan said, “Every suspect is considered dangerous now. We have to treat everyone with reservations, but we still have a job to do.”

Pierre was 22 years old when he was convicted of the murder of Sangre Grande taxi-driver Chanker Mootilal in October 2002. 

Mootilal was plying his taxi when

Pierre, pretending to be a pas­sen­ger, slit his throat and robbed him. 

Pierre had been sentenced to death, but in 2003, his death sen­tence was vacated by the Court of

Appeal, with the order that the case be remitted to a High Court judge for sentencing, in light of the Privy Council ruling the death sentence was no longer mandatory. 

As a result, Pierre’s sentence was commuted to life in prison. 

On the evening of June 23 last year, Pierre is believed to have re­moved a bar from his cell and swam across to Chaguaramas, Trinidad. 

One day after he escaped from prison, police officers of the Nor­thern Police Division said they spotted Pierre in Maracas Valley. 

The Sunday Express was told since November, police officers of the Southern Police Division have been searching within rural areas in St Margaret’s Village, near Claxton Bay, for Pierre. 

Nanan said he was familiar with Pierre’s appearance since a mugshot of him was posted on the wall of the police station. 

“He had changed a little from the photograph, but not by much. His hair is a little longer but his face was still clean-shaven,” said Nanan. 

Senior Superintendent of the Sou­thern Police Division Ce­cil San­tana said on Friday he would speak to his seniors about appropriate com­mendation for the officers. 

Pierre is expected to be taken to court next week.