Headline — 15 January 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett
6 rob Chinese business; police shoot 4

3 of the injured thieves remain in hospital

This afternoon after all the pomp and ceremony of the Supreme Court’s official opening for 2013, things returned to normal for the Magistrate’s Court when three of six persons accused of robbing a Chinese businessman appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer.

Steven Swasey, 36, a resident of San Pedrito, San Pedro; Alexis Ku, 18, a butcher of 9128 Mahogany Street Extension, and a minor, 17, were all charged with robbery, keeping an unlicensed firearm for an Austrian brand Glock 9mm gun, and keeping unlicensed ammunition for 10 Aguilla brand and 2 Lugar brand 9mm live rounds, which were recovered from the scene.

Police report that at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013, they received information that Jian Vin Shop, located at the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Streets, was being robbed.

Jing Jong Li, 61, reported to police that while he and his wife were at their shop, six men entered the shop, one of whom was armed with a gun. The man with the gun then hit him and his wife on their jaws with the gun and demanded money from them.

The men then robbed the couple of $2,500 in cash, a black DVD player valued at $150, and a laptop computer used for Boledo. The men then went upstairs and that was when police, who responded quickly, arrived and cornered them.

According to police, when they went to the second floor of the building, shots were fired at them, and they returned fire at the group, shooting four of the six men.

Of the three who appeared in court today, only Ku had been shot.

The three men pleaded not guilty to all three charges when they appeared unrepresented in court. But all three told the court that they were beaten by the police.

Ku, who was shot in his left thigh, told the court that he was supposed to get his bandage changed every day, but that has not happened. He then lifted up his shirt and showed the Senior Magistrate the bruises on the left side of his chest and back, his entire left arm, and a bruise around his neck.

The minor showed the court his back and told the Senior Magistrate that he was assaulted by the police, who hit him in the head. Swelling was observed under both his eyes.

But it was Swasey who seemed to be in the worst condition; he could barely speak loud enough to be heard in court, and needed assistance to stand, sit, and walk. He told the court that he had been beaten all over his body and had his head rammed against a water bottle rack.

He further said that he was spitting blood and when he asked to be taken to the hospital, his pleas fell on deaf ears. His right hand, just above his wrist, was swollen.

Senior Magistrate Frazer then ordered that Swasey be taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) to be examined before being transported to the Hattieville Prison. All the men were then remanded, denied bail due to the nature of the offense. They are to return to court on March 1, 2013.

The other three persons — Gregory Knox, 20; Jean Pasqual, 19, and another minor, 17 — are expected to be arraigned as soon as they are released from the KHMH for their various injuries. Knox was shot in both feet; Pasqual in his right thigh; and the minor in his left and right thighs.

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