Murders of 6 homeless men in Dominica in under 4 years
By Thomson Fontaine
June 24, 2017 5:08 A.M
Roseau, Dominica (TDN)
Burn victim Davidson Daisy and Andy Carbon.
The brutal slaying of Andy Carbon by an unknown assailant(s) has once again forcefully brought into the forefront the horrendous and barbaric treatment meted out to the less fortunate and vulnerable in Dominican society.
Indeed Carbon’s murder was the Sixth such slaying of a homeless man in Dominica, in just over a four year period, and the Police and government appear either unwilling or unable to do anything about it.
Although Police quickly announced the arrest of another homeless man in this particular slaying they have shown a great deal of indifference in bringing to justice those killed previously.
An obvious question being posed by the public is whether there is a serial murderer on the loose systematically ridding the town of homeless people or whether it’s the work of several different assailants.
Andy’s story is one worth noting because it highlights society’s callous approach to those most vulnerable and its flippant disregard for the dignity and wellbeing of those who may have fallen on hard times.
Just last year, Andy who lost his father to the ravages of Tropical Storm Erica, was disgracefully set upon by a local restaurant owner with scalding water resulting in severe burns to over 60 percent of his body. She was never charged for the crime and the case was dropped. A few months later he was struck by a hit and run driver, but miraculously survived.
As though that pain was not enough, an unknown assailant brutally sodomised him with a metal object resulting in severe bodily damage. The crushing salvo of bricks to his head resulting in his death was the last merciless act of inconceivable brutality.
The method of Andy’s killing interestingly have been seen at least twice before on other homeless men since 2013. On July 29, 2013, Grell Seraphin, 62 year old brother of former Dominica prime minister Oliver Seraphin was brutally set upon as he slept on the pavement in Roseau. He died from crushing blows to his upper body. No one has been arrested.
In a similar fashion, 45 year old Andy Lewis of Kingshill was viciously murdered after stones were dropped on his head while he slept on the roadside. Again, investigations were completed and no arrests made.
In May of this year two other homeless men were savagely killed overnight in the city. Known only by the names Dudous and Frenchie the two were murdered just days apart. Dudous was slashed in the face in a close-up and personal attack while Frenchie was stabbed numerous times. And like before not a single arrest has yet been made.
Perhaps the most gruesome of the killings was that of Davidson Daisy, 46 who was set on fire in an abandoned house where he had sought shelter on February 9, 2015. He spent 6 weeks in excruciating pain with burns over 80 percent of his body before succumbing to his injuries.
Murder victim Dudous.
Two years on and this murder goes unsolved in spite of the fact that the callous act was performed in the presence of several eyewitnesses. An arrest was made in this case but no formal charges were set.
Dismissively described as ‘parros’ and largely viewed as nuisances by the general public these men can be seen on a daily basis on the streets of Roseau hustling to eat and stay alive, but mostly keeping to themselves. Endless talk by government about dealing professionally with the problem has resulted in almost no action.
Even where the cruise ship visitors appeared to have been threatened in some way by their presence on the streets of Roseau, talk of finding a solution has simply gone nowhere.
So in the face of the continuing brutality and murder of our fellow Dominicans one would hope that proactive action will be taken now to protect the lives of the relatively small number of homeless and displaced persons. Also, that the Police will act with haste to bring the murderers of these our fellow Dominicans to justice.
In the face of the senseless killings, which should shock the sensibilities of any civilized society, and the seeming impotence of the authorities to bring this to an end we need to take a hard look at our society and our actions. Nothing less will suffice.
Ultimately, societies are judged not by how they promote the interests and wellbeing of the wealthy and well to dos, but how they care for and relate to the least among them.