by Anna-Lisa Paul
A Barrackpore businessman who is a licensed firearm user was arrested and charged by police on Sunday and his weapon seized after he was found recklessly discharging it as his friend urinated at the side of the road.
The incident took place around 5.45 pm on August 14, along the Eastern Main Road (EMR), Manzanilla.
Cpl Maharaj along with PCs Singh and Samuel of the Manzanilla Police Station were on mobile patrol proceeding along the EMR when they saw a white Kia Sportage parked in a track leading off the main road with both front doors open when they heard what sounded like a gunshot.
As the officers turned into the track behind the van, they saw a woman hurriedly attempting to get into the front passenger seat.
They also observed the 59-year-old businessman of Union Hall, San Fernando fidgeting with the waistband of his pants and attempting to get into the driver’s seat.
As the officers approached the vehicle and ordered the occupants out and searched them, they found a gun containing five rounds of 9 mm ammunition, on the driver’s person.
Indicating he was the holder of a Firearms Users License (FUL), the officers confirmed the credentials and found it to be correct.
However, as they continued to question the businessman, PC Singh realized he had something clenched in his right hand.
Opening his palm to reveal a 9 mm spent shell which he handed over to PC Singh, the officer said a gunshot was heard earlier and cautioned the businessman in accordance with the Judge's Rules to which the man said, "Sir my friend was peeing and long time I ain't go on the range so I buss a shot to hit a tree."
Asked to point out exactly where he discharged the weapon, the businessman pointed to a spot on the roadway.
PC Singh then informed the businessman that it was an offence to discharge a firearm within 40 metres of a roadway.
The businessman was later cautioned, arrested and taken to the Sangre Grande Police Station.