BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 5, 2018– In the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 31, Samuel August, Sr., a backhoe operator employed at the Belize City Council, turned his machine into a weapon and drove it into the house where his three children were sleeping, killing his 5-year-old son and his son’s grandmother.
When a 13-year-old girl, a cousin of August’s children, ran out of the house to seek refuge from August’s murderous assault at the home of a neighbor, August rammed his backhoe onto the neighbour’s house.
August passed out behind the wheel of the backhoe that he had run into a drain, destroying a fence in the process.
Last Tuesday, October 30, August had been at the Belize City Family Court where a custody battle with his children’s grandmother ended with the court granting custody of the children to the grandmother. It is widely believed that losing the custody battle is what pushed August over the edge.
August was hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and was under police guard, while authorities contemplated what charges to lay on him for causing the deaths of two persons and damaging three houses in his backhoe rampage through Fabers Road. While authorities were trying to figure out what crimes to charge August with, he slipped out of the hospital. He allegedly told police that he wanted to use the bathroom and then escaped. He then wreaked some more havoc in an attempt to end his own life.
Sometime early on Friday morning, November 2, August, after escaping from the hospital, wrested control of a late-model car from a mother in the Kings Park area of Belize City and went on a wild drive up the Philip Goldson Highway.
Tanisha Ross recounted the terrifying experience to 7News on Friday. Ross told 7News on Friday, “As I turned off my engine to allow my children to go inside, I saw a young man coming up the street from me and I thought he was going to just pass by, and he just came in and grabbed me by the neck and started to try to pull me out of the vehicle. I jostled with him for a few seconds and I started to shout for my brother-in-law, and I told my kids to jump out of the vehicle because at that time he was jostling with me still.
“He was trying to put the key in the ignition to move, and by that time my brother-in-law came out and he was moving off the same time. My brother-in-law jumped in the vehicle and he was moving off and they were jostling in the vehicle as well, and he [my brother-in-law] fell out of the vehicle, because he wasn’t in totally.”
Ross went on to say that as August sped off in her car, she called to inform her brother, who was heading to the city, and he saw her stolen vehicle. He followed August until August rammed his sister’s car into the backhoe.
An employee of CISCO who witnessed what happened told 7News, “He picked up speed from here in front of Pumps and Motors and ran straight into the backhoe. The backhoe was on its way to work.”
The CISCO worker explained that August began stabbing himself after he crashed the car into the backhoe.
“He was just stabbing up himself all in his neck,” the CISCO worker said.
The early morning rush hour traffic slowed to almost a complete halt on the highway for close to an hour, after which August, who was badly injured, was pulled from the wrecked car and transported back to the same Karl Heusner Memorial from which he had escaped earlier.
At their press conference today, Monday, November 5, police told reporters that August’s case file along with the findings of a psychiatric examination of August will be forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, to determine if he will be held criminally responsible.
August was reportedly being held at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital because there was no space for him to be admitted to the psychiatric facility in Belmopan.