Headline — 08 April 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Pain and sorrow for Waight family

“I’m in pain; I can’t take it anymore,” dying son, stabbed at basketball court, tells father

The life of a promising and talented young student and footballer was unexpectedly cut short last Friday night after a fight on the Hattieville basketball court after 9:00 p.m., which resulted in two minors suffering different degrees of stab wounds, one of them proving fatal.

The incident occurred in the jurisdiction of Belize District’s Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, and last Saturday, April 5, he told the media what police knew about the stabbing incident, which started out as a small feud between a group of minors and unfortunately escalated into a fatal confrontation which eventually cost a 17-year-old Hattieville resident his life.

Noble said, “Sometime after 9:00 last night, an incident occurred on the basketball court which is very near to the police station in Hattieville. The end result of that incident is that two minors were injured; one of them unfortunately succumbed while being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and we have one person in custody.

“We’re working with the information that we’ve gathered from other persons that were around and we have contacted CIB in Belize City; and with their assistance, we are trying to cover the entire report. Our information so far is that there were several persons in the area; it is a village and persons in the village are known to each other. It is not something that was imported into the village, so the cooperation is very high.”

Hattieville police say that on Friday, April 4, at about 9:25 p.m., they went to the location and saw two men lying in the grass, suffering from apparent stab wounds.

Their initial investigation revealed that about five minutes earlier, a man was trying to part a fight between two teenagers at the basketball court.

Police said that the man was then assaulted by a group of men, and it was during that fight that both a 16-year-old and Richard Waight, Jr., 17, were stabbed. The minor was stabbed in his right lower abdomen, while Waight was stabbed in the left side of the chest.

Both were transported to the KHMH, but Waight later succumbed to his injuries.

knife was retrieved as exhibit, and a man and a 16-year-old minor were detained.

Today, Amandala spoke to Richard Waight, Sr., the father of the deceased, and he was in a state of disbelief, visibly distraught at the way in which his son was senselessly murdered. He said, “Apparently, my son was on the basketball court and a fight started with a little boy [age not given] who was hanging out with my son. I heard that the little boy took a machete and held it at the throat of another young man, after which his victim’s bigger brother allegedly punched him [the little boy] a number of times.”

Waight explained that he understands that thereafter the little boy went to bring two of his older siblings, who reportedly came out with machetes and knives, and in the fight, Waight, Jr., and a 16-year old minor who had been socializing with the little boy who had put a machete at the other’s throat, were stabbed.

“He [the detained person] had no reason to do that, because he is a big man to my son; he ‘chanced’ my son out of his life”, the intensely aggravated fatherstated, noting that all the young men who were involved knew each other and often socialized together at the basketball court.

Waight, Sr., noted that he did not even get to talk to his son that day.

“Before I went to work, I just peeped into his room and he was still sleeping; that was the last time I saw him in good health,” he stated.

The grief-stricken father told us that the next time he saw his son was when he was on the hospital bed screaming in pain, and fighting for his life.

Waight, Sr., stressed: “It’s the worst feeling when you’re watching your child die, knowing you can’t do anything about it. All kinds of feelings rush into you at the same time. He said to me, ‘Dad, I’m in pain and I can’t take it,’ and I just told him, ‘Try breathe son,’ but he was still bleeding, and I couldn’t do anything else but watch him suffer until he took his last breath.”

Waight, Sr., stated that the only thing he can do now is to stay strong for the rest of his children, although he is hurting and had many plans for Richard, Jr., who was a business student at the University of Belize (UB) and a remarkable football player.

While recounting memories of his son, the father told us that he will always remember his son’s smile and the fact that he was a good football player and disc jockey who enjoyed listening to music.

As a matter of fact, Amandala was told that Richard, Jr., would have been drafted by the PLB’s Belmopan Bandits in the near future.

The father mentioned that he is shocked by the actions of the person who committed the crime against his son, because he is a person who grew up with his son and even had meals at their home, many times in the past.

Richard Waight, Jr., was one of his father’s three sons, and his family told us that they will be holding a candlelight vigil in memory of their son at the site where Richard was stabbed last Friday.

The initiative – which is aimed at shedding positive light on an unfortunate incident – will start at 8:00 p.m. this Thursday and they are inviting speakers from the Youth for the Future to speak to the audience about violence amongst young men, who are considered the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Police say that they have charged the main suspect with murder, and he is expected to be taken to court tomorrow, Tuesday.

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