Trinidad: He came to hospital with sick sister, and ends up in jail

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – A TRUCK DRIVER who claimed he was threatened and chased from the San Fernando General Hospital by security officers appeared before the court charged with resisting arrest, using obscene language and possession of a knife.

Leo Baptiste, 55, said he arrived at the hospital in an ambulance along with two of his sisters, one of whom needed medical attention. He said while the ambulance went to the off-loading area, he was told to gain access to the area through another entrance.

He said he wanted to be with his sister as, given her condition, she would usually listen to him. He however alleged that when he attempted to gain access to her from the main entrance, and enquired from a security officer, he was pushed and chased.

“They told me to go from here … They started pushing me … How could they run me? …. I followed all the instructions… They were judging me because of how I looked.” Baptiste told San Fernando senior magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine.

He admitted that he was dishevelled as he had returned from the bushes where he worked while recovering from a surgery, moments before he entered the ambulance with his siblings.

He added, “One of them (a security officer) pulled out a baton and said he was going to bend it on me.”

The charging officer said that Baptiste was charged after he reacted to being told that only one relative was allowed in the area his sister was taken and there was already a person there with her.

Baptiste who said he sustained a swollen elbow from the incident and had a bandage on this area, had entered a guilty plea to the charges of resisting arrest, using obscene language and possession of a knife to wound, while at the hospital on Tuesday. However, after saying he was provoked, a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Antoine placed the father of three on his own bail of $6,000 and ordered he return to court on September 26. The matter was transferred to the Fifth Court.

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