vandalised: Workmen replace the broken glass panels at the entrance to the Parliament Chamber at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, yesterday. —Photos: STEPHEN DOOBAY and ISHMAEL SALANDY

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Homeless man goes on rampage

...smashes windows of banks and Parliament building

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

A HOMELESS man who police described as "mentally unstable" was arrested yesterday, moments after he went on a rampage, smashing the glass door and panel of the Parliament building entrance and the windowpanes of two commercial banks in downtown Port of Spain.

The 49-year-old man was arrested by police officers on patrol.

He is expected to be charged later this week for three offences of malicious damage and will be making a court appearance.

Police said the incidents occurred between 4 a.m. and 4.30 a.m.

Police said the suspect allegedly "tripped off" and stoned the door and side window panel of the Parliament building, located at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, before he ran east along the Brian Lara Promenade and broke the window panes of two banks, First Citizens and Scotiabank, both on Independence Square.

A spokesperson for Scotiabank who did not want to be named said they were relieved no one had been injured and pleased the vandal had been held.

A communications person for First Citizens was unavailable for comment while the Office of the Parliament's corporate communications manager, Jason Elcock, said they would be treating yesterday's incident as an isolated one.

He said, "Damage was done to the glass doors at the Wrightson Road entrance to the Parliament Chamber, as well as the adjoining glass panels." The broken window panes and doors were replaced yesterday.

Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing, in a telephone interview, described the incident as an unfortunate one but one which could have been prevented if he was allowed and supported by Government to get street dwellers off the streets of Port of Spain.

Lee Sing accused the Government of starving him of funds that would allow him to enhance Port of Spain, and added, "As I speak," there were two letters on his desk from two members of the public who were recently attacked by homeless people in the city.

He added they were not doing "what they are supposed to do, and they are, as always, poopsin' and loaded with incompetence, and they continue to believe that razzle and dazzle and public relations will bring them home safely."

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