A POLICE corporal and a constable on 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 Constable 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 Express: “It was every-day 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 Southern Main Road when, at around 3 p.m., Persad spotted Pierre standing along the road near the TECU Building, 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 that 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 Express was told that 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.
His numerous tattoos along his neck and shoulders also assisted the officers in identifying Pierre as he stood on the street.
Senior Superintendent of the Southern Police Division Cecil Santana said yesterday we would speak to his seniors about appropriate commendation for the officers.
Pierre is expected to be taken to court next week.