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Guilty for Vehicle Theft, two men allege TCI and Bahamian Police shot and beat them, though unarmed

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 9, 2023 – Police reported that on Thursday September 21st, 2023 they shot two unarmed men in a stolen vehicle. They admitted discharging their firearm and both men received gunshot wounds. The men were apprehended, hospitalized and later released in police custody after surgeries, now the duo has had their day in court.

Magnetic Media was at court on Monday October 16th, 2023 when police pulled up some 25 days after the shooting with two properly bandaged, limping, wounded, handcuffed and shackled individuals for court, they were brought to answer charges concerning that early morning police shooting and taking motor vehicle without authority incident.

Charged with “taking motor vehicle without authority, vehicle interference and other motor vehicle offenses” are JAMES FONTAINE and SHALDIN VYNDIKE DELANCY; the charges are not considered very serious offenses in TCI law and courts.

JAMES FONTAINE was granted $7,000.00 bail but is presently in prison as he has no one to sign surety for him and SHALDIN VYNDIKE DELANCY was not granted bail because he has other pending matters in court that he failed to attend and answer when they were called before the Magistrate’s court previously.

Both accused have entered guilty pleas in the matter of a stolen flatbed Mac truck on the shooting night/early morning of September 21st, and have also pleaded guilty to vehicle interference of a small yellow Nissan March on September 8th, 2023 in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Speaking to Magnetic Media whilst waiting for Court to commence, James Fountaine said he was shot nine times and Shaldin Delancy claimed to have been shot five times.

Ahead of the hearing, both men shared with us that they were going to plead guilty for their roles or involvement in the vehicle offenses but explained the “Police didn’t have to shoot us up like that. We didn’t have no gun, we didn’t try shoot them, man them dudes was trying to kill us.  Only God got us still alive today.  We had to lose control of the vehicle and had to dodge down and hide underneath the inside of the vehicle to avoid instant death bullets. Thankfully it was a big Mac truck, we could of hide from some the bullets but we still got hit a lot.  After that they still dragged us out the vehicle and finished beating us up so bad, leaving us on the ground bleeding for a while before taking us to hospital.  They wanted to kill us man.”

Fountaine and Delancy also said, in response to a question that some of the officers were locals, others were Bahamians.

The demeanor of the men, in sharing their account of alleged events on the night/morning in question was a very emotional Delancy; seriously crying and Fontaine was loud, angered by the ordeal.

The escorting police officers did attempt to muzzle the men by telling them to stop talking to the media however, neither man paid the warning any mind and spoke freely as they are constitutionally entitled to do.

We also asked them just before they were called into Court to be arraigned in the charges, if they shared their account with anyone and they told us, yes.

“Some Cayman Island police officers came and told us they are investigating our shooting but we know police don’t go against police. They told us if we get a lawyer, our lawyers could get the shooting documents and their findings or results from the investigation.”

The stolen vehicle offenses case against the duo was adjourned.

Representing both accused regarding the vehicle offenses is Latisha Williams-Bruce.

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STATEMENT FROM THE HONOURABLE C. WASHINGTON MISICK, PREMIER TURKS AND CAICOS GOVERNMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 22, 2024 – As Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I assure our American friends that the Turks and Caicos Islands prioritizes hospitality, cultural exchange, and mutual respect.  You will find our doors open and our hearts eager to share the warmth and beauty of our homeland.  We value the trust and confidence travelers from around the world place in us when they choose the Turks and Caicos Islands as their destination.  Transparency and accountability are paramount in our operations, ensuring that our decisions are made lawfully and in the best interests of all residents and visitors.

The Turks & Caicos Islands welcome over one million visitors each year, more than half of whom are American.

Respect for the rule of law and an independent judiciary are key tenants of our justice system, and all persons are equal in the eyes of the law.  Judges are permitted to use their discretion in sentencing individuals who have been convicted of violating our Firearms law. In fact, in cases that occurred prior to the five cases that have generated media coverage, the mandatory 12-year minimum sentence has never been imposed by the Court because judges determined in each case that exceptional circumstances warranted shorter sentences.

Our justice system is designed to uphold the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless of their place of origin, while maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands.  Our judicial and law enforcement institutions are dedicated to impartiality and consistency in enforcing our laws.

Recent events have underscored the importance of adhering to the principles of justice and accountability.  Let me be clear: In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the law stands firm and applies to everyone equally, without exception.  Our commitment to the rule of law is unwavering and remains a cornerstone of our democratic values.

We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all citizens, residents and visitors.

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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