Headline — 29 June 2016 — by Albert J. Ciego
Mentally challenged man chops 6 people in Yo Creek

YO CREEK, Orange Walk District, Mon. June 27, 2016–A Yo Creek man who is mentally challenged was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today until August 29 after he savagely chopped six people, maiming two of them.

Larry Banner, 37, was taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, on charges of maim and aggravated burglary, and was remanded to prison.

Police say that at about 12:30 Friday afternoon, Banner went to the home of his sister-in-law, Adela Choc, armed with a machete, and without provocation, chopped her on the left side of her face and severed her left thumb. He then attacked her three children, chopping an infant on both her elbows, chopping her 3-year-old son on the back of the head, and severing the thumb of her 5-year-old son.

Banner then ran out of the house and disappeared.

Neighbours rushed the mother and children to the Northern Regional Hospital, where doctors performed surgery on them.

About an hour later, Banner went to the home of Moises Pech and his wife, Juanita, also of Yo Creek, who live across the street from Choc, and who were celebrating Juanita’s birthday. Police said that again, without provocation, Banner attacked Moises Pech and chopped off his left hand about five inches below the elbow. He then chopped Juanita in the head, and then ran out of the house and disappeared.

Neighbours took the seriously wounded couple to the Northern Regional Hospital, where they were admitted to the hospital in serious condition, and again, doctors performed surgery.
Police and villagers began a search in the village for Banner, who was arrested shortly after.

According to reports, Banner told Moises Pech that he came to visit, and then chopped him. When Banner raised the machete, Pech raised his hand to protect his head, but Banner chopped him with such force that he severed his hand.

Pech’s daughter-in-law and her two-year-old son were unhurt.

ASP Selwyn Tillett, Commander of Orange Walk District Police, said that Banner had been living in the village for a while without being disruptive, but at some point in the past he had disturbed some individuals in the village, but they had not brought charges against him, nor did they make a report.

Tillett said that it was a joint collaboration between police and the villagers that led to the arrest. The villagers were on the hunt for Banner and early Saturday morning, they went to his house where he was sleeping, and they surrounded the house, and police were alerted, and they went and arrested him. The arrest was made easily and quietly, said police.

Tillett said that a number of additional charges will be brought against Banner in connection with the vicious incident.

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