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Businessman says he feels like shutting up shop

Businessman says he feels like shutting up shop

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Last Sunday night, shopkeeper Cornelius ‘Casa Man’ George found out the hard way that operating a business in an area known for violent crime is a high-risk activity.

The 26-year-old was gun butted and robbed by two armed assailants at around 11 p.m. at Ottley Hall, as he was about to close his business {{more}}place for the day.

According to the shopkeeper and bar operator, who is still very rattled by his experience, a woman and her two daughters were in his establishment playing pool when two armed men, one wearing a hoodie with a handkerchief over his mouth and nose and armed with a sawed-off shotgun and another one wearing a wig and armed with a long knife came into the shop and demanded money.

He said that he had already locked one of his entrances and was about to lock the other one when he was surprised by the robbers.

“The one with the gun shout ‘This is a stick up; give me all the money’. I was shock, because I want to know what going on, so I say ‘Soldier, what going on here?’”, said George, who was pushed behind the counter with the knife wielding bandit, but not before being struck on the right side of his forehead by the butt of the shotgun.

He said that the smaller of the two men joined him behind the counter and took EC$300 in paper notes and an undisclosed amount of coins.

George added that the man with the shotgun shouted for the knife man to take the cigarettes too. He said that he was searched and the men took a phone from him, but seeing that it was not a smart phone, threw it on the ground.

The businessman, who stressed that this is the first time that he has been robbed, is contemplating closing down the business, as over the years, even when his father was running it, violence plagued the venue.

In one instance a shotgun wielding man ran into the shop, pointed the weapon at a customer, pulled the trigger three times and when the weapon failed to fire, the gunman ended up beating the man he had come to shoot over the head with the gun and ran away.

In another incident about a month ago, a gunman opened fire at a man who was playing pool and missed, the bullet striking a wall at the back of the shop.

George said that he sleeps in the shop to avoid being burglarized.

“I’ve been here operating back this shop two years now. I feel real old; I ain’t feel real good at all. I ain’t feel safe, I can’t feel safe. I feel to close down,” stressed George, who said that a lot of negative activities in the area cause persons to go home early, therefore damaging his business, which a few months ago was protected by the presence of a mobile police station less than 100 feet away.

“Is the young youth them doing them things. People afraid to come here and lime,” said George on Monday.

Up to press time yesterday, investigations were continuing, with one man in custody, assisting police with their investigations into the robbery.

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