The victims of last weekend’s gang brawl and arson in the Krooman Lagoon area are closer to rebuilding their home, thanks to a donation from the Belize Police Department. Today, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams in partnership with the business community handed over much-needed home construction supplies to the family. Compol Williams says that the initiative was something he felt compelled to do given the circumstances surrounding the family’s loss.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I did saw the interview given by Mr Itza’s wife to the media yesterday in respect to the arson of her home in the Krooman Lagoon are and based on what I saw it was very touching and as I said in my interview yesterday that we’re in the Christmas season and Christmas is a time for caring, a time for loving and a time for sharing and so I reached out to some business people particularly Benny’s Wood Depot and Banana Enterprise and I requested them to assist me in giving a donation to Mr.Itza and his family to commence reconstruction of a new home. And I must say that quickly both business places agreed to join me in this endeavor and so with that I was able to secure twelve half inch plywood from Banana Enterprise, ten fourteen for zinc from Benny’s and twenty pieces of two by four from Wood Depot and so today I’m going to donate that to Mr.Itza to see how he can commence reconstruction of a new home for himself and his family. It is very troubling to see the conditions under which the people in the Krooman Lagoon area live. I think that something needs to be done to assist these people in improving their lifestyle within that particular area. And so whatever we can do from a community policing standpoint I am willing to work with the community to see how we can uplift the neighborhood because for us it also good for the police officers to patrol in an area that is conducive for them to be able to move around. And so I want to thank Mr.Itza for accepting the gift from us and I am certain that it will go a very long way for him and his family especially now that hopefully by Christmas they’ll be able to have somewhere that he can relocate his family to to be able to enjoy a very joyous Christmas.”
The Commissioner has also acquired material for the family to fill the parcel of land that they will be relocating to in the coming week. It is a move that the family’s patriarch, Freddy Itza, says they need to do to ensure their safety.
Freddy Itza, Family Patriarch: “We were talking about it and we were thinking about the kids first. We don’t want to go back there and then put their lives in jeopardy. So we were finding other solutions where to go and myself as well I don’t want to get in trouble because I’m not a person that’s what they are.”
Reporter: You had to rebuild from the ground up after this tragic incident how will this donation help you guys and how does it feel to see the police department come forward and assist you in this trying time ?
Freddy Itza, Family Patriarch: “Well when I got the call this morning about the materials I said well from there well joy in my heart as well as my common law with this material so the Commissioner as well thank you. That’s the start for us.”
And while the family is rebuilding their lives and home, two of the four men responsible for the heinous incident were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Love News understands that the first to be arraigned was 19-year-old, Abel Martinez, who appeared with attorney Leroy Banner. Martinez was read a single charge of wounding upon Freddy Itza, to which he pleaded not guilty. Despite the prosecution’s objection to bail on the grounds that the accused lives in close proximity to the complainant and may cause him further harm, the court granted Martinez bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. His bail came on the condition that he does not interfere with the complainant and not be charged with any other offense while out on bail. The next to be arraigned in this matter was Hilberto Ruiz, who was charged with wounding 32-year-old, Violeta Singh. Ruiz, accompanied by his attorney Orson Elrington, pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $1,200 plus a $5.00 cost of court fine of which Ruiz must pay by April 29, 2022, or spend five months in jail for default. But the Magistrate ordered that Ruiz, who was in debt to the court in the sum of $650, must pay $300 before he could post bail, which he did. Notably, both men are suspected members of the Central American gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), which has prompted an increase in police presence in the Krooman Lagoon Community.