Camp Street jailbreak
…no protection needed – Top Cop
Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Shivtahal who was abducted by four high-profile murderers following the jailbreak at the Camp Street Penitentiary on Sunday evening said he begged for his life as he recounted the harrowing ordeal.
The traumatised father of one, who was scared for his life, trotted though thick
vegetation, swamps, trenches and several hives as soon as he was given the green light to go by wanted fugitive Mark Royden Durant, also called “Mark Williams” and “Smallie”.
Although Durant’s cohorts were against the idea of releasing the young man, the alleged mastermind behind the prison break directed Shivtahal through a path that would lead to his freedom. After following that path, he finally saw light and ended up at the back of Annandale, East Coast Demerara on Monday evening at about 22:00h.
There, the muddied and shaken man requested a telephone call from a shop owner but in turn, the proprietor enquired the reason for the telephone call and during his explanation, he was overheard by an off-duty Police rank, who subsequently escorted him to the Vigilance Police Station where he was questioned and referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital to seek medical attention.
Just after 05:00h on Tuesday, Shivtahal was reunited with his wife and one year-
old son. Speaking at his home on Tuesday morning, the man explained that on Sunday he went to pick up a customer and her children at Industry, East Coast of Demerara and on his way to the East Bank of Demerara, he drove through the city.
In the vicinity of Broad and Camp Streets, he was confronted by the four armed men who pushed the woman and her children out of the vehicle but as he was about to exit the vehicle, the men shoved him back in the car, held him at gunpoint and ordered him to drive.
According to the still visibly shaken man, the armed men instructed him to drive to
South Ruimveldt, Georgetown where they abandoned the car and ran into the backlands. Since then, it was crossing trenches and swamps until they reached the 7-Door Sluice at Land of Canaan on the East Bank of Demerara.
“When we reach deh, we supposed to go over the big trench and I can’t swim so, they said instead for me to slow them down is best they kill me. I deh begging them and tell them that I get a one-year-old son and that I wouldn’t like he to grow up without a father and it was the Rasta one who say just because I tell them that, they go let me go,” he stated.
However, he recalled that during the ordeal, he was kept at bay as they made their telephone calls but he overheard them speaking about heading to the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.
Nevertheless, he further stated that only two of the men were armed with suspected pistols. In addition, he noted that during the trekking in the backlands, they had nothing to eat or drink while confirming that none of the men were injured, as was suspected following the jail break.
While they were discrete in their interactions among each other, Shivtahal explained that the men did not seem fearful of being recaptured while noting that at no point did the men speak about their involvement in the fire at the Camp Street Prison.
“When we were walking down, they see the fire because it was so big and they said look it done deh.
They did talking stuff that they don’t want me to hear so they were keeping it on low,” the man recalled.
In a more relaxed condition, he stated that it was while at the Vigilance Police Station he was told that the men set the prison on fire and there was a shootout at the jail while noting that upon his abduction, he was not aware that there was a situation at the Camp Street Prison.
Meanwhile, Shivtahal noted that upon reaching the Vigilance Police Station, he was given a bottle of water and something to eat by a Sergeant, who later transported him to the Brickdam Police Station. Now that he is at home with his family, the young man said “it’s an overwhelming joy… honestly to go through what I went through and come out alive is just God’s grace, honestly.”
He nevertheless has to report to the Brickdam Police Station to be further questioned. It is believed that the four men who held the taxi driver captive are Mark Durant; Uree Varswyck, also known as “Malcolm Gordon”; Stafrei Hopkinson Alexander and “Nasta Man”.
When contacted, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud told Guyana Times that he sees no reason for the young man to be given Police protection, adding that if the fugitives wanted him dead, they would have done so since he was abducted.