Crime — 13 June 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

A man who police said robbed a male cross-dresser is recovering in the Belmopan Hospital from a gunshot wound to the hand after he was shot by police in the process of arresting him.

“Vanessa Champagne,” a man who was dressed in female clothes, told police that at about 8:30 Tuesday night, he was walking on the walkway on Oriole Street in Belmopan when a man approached and attacked him, taking away his iPhone valued at $500, before leaving the scene.

Superintendent Howell Gillett, the Commanding Officer of Belmopan police, told Amandala that police who were on patrol in the area quickly responded when they were alerted by Champagne of the robbery, and they launched a quick investigation, and that was when they saw the thief hiding up in a tree and ordered him to come down.

Commander Gillett said that the man came down, but he put his hand into the bag he was carrying, as if to take out a weapon, and police, fearing for their lives, shot him in the right hand.

The suspected robber was then arrested, and the iPhone was recovered from him. He was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was admitted to ward, under police custody. The stolen phone has been labeled as “evidence” in the case.

The man will be charged with robbery and resisting arrest when he is released from the hospital into police custody.

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