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Sandy released, then taken back into police custody

Sandy released, then taken back into police custody

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While police have once more taken Dwaine Sandy into custody, allegedly for “safe keeping”, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller says police have also identified another suspect in last week’s robbery and shooting incident.{{more}}

In a brief interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday afternoon, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller said Sandy had been released, “pending further inquiries”.

He, however, also disclosed that, according to investigators, there is another suspect in the matter in which a police officer was shot and an attendant of the Postal Corporation robbed of approximately $100,000 on June 13 in Kingstown.

When asked, Miller did not provide any information on what link, if any, motor vehicle PU 519, described as a silver Toyota Sprinter, has with the incident.

He instead reiterated that investigations are continuing.

The vehicle was taken into police custody the evening of June 13, a few hours after police had issued a bulletin saying the vehicle was being sought in connection with the robbery and shooting of the police officer.

Meanwhile, Sandy’s lawyer, Grant Connell told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview yesterday morning that after being released on Wednesday, Sandy had been taken back into custody between the hours of 2:30 and 5 Thursday morning.

“I was informed that Black Squad (Rapid Response Unit of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force) went into his house this morning about 2:30 with four trucks of men and took him from his house,” Connell said.

The lawyer said he had been informed by the police that this was done for Sandy’s safety.

“From whom, or for what purpose I do not know,” Connell said.

“What I do know is that Mr Sandy came back from Grenada because he was wanted, he spent 48 hours in custody with them and they released him,” he continued.

“If they have evidence against this man, they should take the suspense out of society and charge the man.”

Connell said that he was awoken by relatives of Sandy yesterday morning at 2:30 and they described what had taken place.

The lawyer said he then made calls to the Rapid Response Unit base to enquire about his client’s whereabouts. He also called the Criminal Investigations Department, he said.

Connell said that between 2:30 and 5, he did not know where the police had taken his client.

“But I know he was logged into the CID book at five minutes to five or thereabout and they are holding him for safekeeping,” Connell said.

He said that he did not know when time starts to run with safekeeping.

“But if they have arrested him, I guess it is another 48 hours and I am saying and I will say it again if they have evidence against him, charge the man – the society wants to know,” he said.

Meanwhile, a caller yesterday morning to the Hot 97.1 radio programme, hosted by Too Cool Chris, who identified herself as the sister of Sandy, said that officers stormed their home in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The caller further stated that the police officers did not show a search warrant, but went ahead and picked up Sandy and searched the house.

She said that they took him away and returned a short time later with Sandy, and conducted another search, again without displaying a search warrant.

The caller also claimed that Sandy was struck in the chest when he tried to protest his innocence.

Connell said it was “an irresponsible act” by Commissioner Miller to label his client as a “wanted man” without providing any evidence.

“You just don’t jump up like that and say someone is wanted, Connell told reporters on Wednesday, shortly after Sandy was released from police custody without any charge being laid against him.

Sandy told reporters on Wednesday that he was in Grenada at the time of the incident, having been in that country since May.

On Monday morning, shortly after 11, Sandy turned himself into police, a few minutes after arriving back in the country on a LIAT flight, escorted by Connell.

Connell said when he arrived at the Central Police Station on Monday, he asked (Station Sergeant Hesron) Ballantyne to show him the evidence.

“If there is camera evidence, let me see it,” he said he told the investigator.

“And he didn’t,” Connell told journalists.

Connell said he was not aware that the shooting victim had indicated that his client was the man who committed the act.

He further stated that he wrote to the Commissioner, indicating that he had no problem in having the officer identify his client.

But this was not done, Connell said.

He said damage had been done to his client, a former national goalkeeper, by circulating a poster that he was “armed and dangerous”.

“When you are wanted, armed and dangerous, that is just like saying dead or alive…You put a hit on his head,” Connell said.

The attorney said if the police have evidence against his client, they should bring it forward. …They have destroyed his character….” (DD/KW)

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