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Relatives of deceased man want answers

Relatives of deceased man want answers


by Adrian Codogan

Relatives of a Chateaubelair man are seeking answers about the circumstances that led to his demise while in police custody.

Wendell Clem Ashton also known as “Tiga” or “Compay Goat” was found dead in his cell at the Central Police Station (CPS) Saturday morning.{{more}}

Ashton was apprehended by the police around 5 p.m. last Thursday, after it had been reported that he was causing a disturbance at Plan Village, close to the Chateaubelair Methodist School, where he lives.

Ashton was reportedly taken to the Chateaubelair hospital for mental health treatment, following which he was taken to the Chateaubelair Police Station, where he spent the night before being taken to Kingstown the next day around midday.

An eyewitness told SEARCHLIGHT that Ashton, dressed only in boxer shorts, was taken to Kingstown in the back of a dark-coloured pick-up truck, crouched in a fetal position.

A relative of Ashton told SEARCHLIGHT that on Saturday, around 10 a.m. she received a phone call from a sergeant of police stationed at Chateaubelair, who informed her that Wendell had died and that she should call the Criminal Investigation Department(CID) for more information. The relative said after making the call, she was informed that Wendell was found dead in his cell.

Commissioner of Police Michael Charles told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday that Ashton was at the Central Police Station awaiting transportation to the Mental Health Centre at Orange Hill when he died.

“If they have them (mentally ill patients) to go out, sometimes they have no place to put them. There were about three of them here to be transported to Orange Hill, but he was discovered dead when the police went to check on him,” Charles said.

Eileen Wilson, who also lives at Plan Village, said that she had been Ashton’s caretaker since he returned to Chateaubelair over a year ago and wants to know what really happened.

“Goat was sick and he always took his medication and with the stroke, I ain’t see why he wasn’t put in a hospital,” the octogenarian said.

Ashton had mental health issues since the early 1990s, but he had not been an in-patient for over 19 years, as he regularly took his medications. From time to time, however, he would suffer relapses.

In November, 2013, Ashton suffered a stroke while diving in Bequia. Luckily, he was able to make it back into his boat and call for help. He subsequently moved back to Chateaubelair, where he had built a home. As a result of the stroke, he walked with the assistance of a cane.

A post mortem performed on Ashton on Tuesday revealed that he died of a blood clot in the brain. Police say his demise is being treated as a “sudden death”.