THE fifth and last prison escapee – Anthony Seepersad – was recaptured on Wednesday morning during a dramatic stop-and-search exercise by officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Prison Service along Morne Coco Road in Diego Martin. He was found in the trunk of a car.
A video recording of the recapture was uploaded to social media and shared numerous times.
In the video, heavily armed police are seen surrounding a silver-grey sedan with the licence number PEA 1272, while a marked police SUV is seen parked in front of the car, blocking its path. The stop-and-search took place at 11 am.
As the driver was made to put his hands on the bonnet of the car, officers demanded his name. He pleaded his innocence, saying, “I now come from work there, boss…I now come from work.”
Officer: Search the vehicle!
Driver: I have nutten, boy.
Officer: Come to the front of the vehicle. Put your hands there.
Driver: I have nutten…I now come from work there, boss.
An officer then opens the trunk while other officers, guns pointed at the back of the car, wait to see what is inside.
As the trunk is opened, the officers bark at Seepersad: “Put your hands up!”
The escapee, who was wearing a black jersey, grey pants, was barefoot and had his head wrapped in a blue jersey, complied and showed them his hands.
In one swift motion, officers physically removed the man from the trunk and put him to lie in the road, where he was handcuffed.
A senior officer, the only one seen in the video dressed in khaki uniform, with the rest wearing the IATF’s standard grey-and-black camouflage uniforms, then speaks to Seepersad.
Officer: What is your name?
Seepersad: Anthony Seepersad.
Officer: You know why the police arresting you?
Seepersad: Yes, sir.
Seepersad: Escape from the prison.
Officer: Escape from the prison…so you escape lawful custody, right? Caution him.
Another officer, who identified himself as PC Weekes, is seen in the video showing Seepersad his police badge and then cautions Seepersad, telling him: “You under arrest…you under re-arrest.”
In the video Seepersad was also heard telling officers he was afraid of being killed during a confrontation with the police, but was told he would be safe.
Seepersad is heard telling officers that the driver is a relative and an officer is heard saying, “That is your brother? Make sure we charge the brother too…harbouring (a fugitive).” The video then ends.
Seepersad’s arrest ended the saga of the escape of five prisoners from a dormitory at the Golden Grove Prison in Arouca at around 10 pm on Sunday.
A prison service media release confirmed Seepersad’s recapture and added that he was taken to the Maraval police station, then transferred to the Arouca police station, where he would be charged with escaping lawful custody.
Seepersad, along with Kurien Douglas, 26, Theon Thomas, 23, Shaquille Drayton, 30, and 32-year-old Kevin Jagdeo, escaped by breaking through the roof on Sunday night.
While responding to questions in the Lower House on Wednesday afternoon National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said he was pleased with the response of the authorities and the co-operation of the public in helping find the five escapees.
He praised the public for their assistance and said it was an example of continued partnership with law enforcement.
“Yesterday or the day before yesterday, four of five escaped inmates were recaptured with the help of the citizens, so engagement with the communities is critical. So we thank the public.
“To this end the TTPS community-oriented policing initiatives are intended to increase community-engagement efforts.”
In a separate media release on Wednesday, acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob also praised the officers, who he said, “worked tirelessly since Sunday night to successfully secure the apprehension of five men who escaped from the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca.”
Jacob also thanked the public who shared “invaluable information” with police which led to the recapture of the five . He said this collaboration between the police and civic-minded members of the public made the manhunt a success.