Mentally challenged man arrested for slashing a minor’s face
The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, has conceded to the criticism that the police were lax in their response to the brutal attack of 14-year-old Kadaijah Cruz. Last week, the high schooler was randomly attacked by a man shortly after she exited a bus in Belize City. The assailant sliced Cruz across her face in front of several witnesses before fleeing the area. The minor received thirteen stitches and is now scarred for life due to the ruthless attack. And, to make matters worse Cruz’s father claims that when he went to make a report the police did not seem to take the situation seriously. According to ComPol Williams, the issue was due to the mental condition of Cruz’s attacker, who has since been arrested. He says the police are often not sure what to do when dealing with mentally challenged individuals.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I do accept his criticism. I think it is a valid one and any parent in his shoe will do the same. At first glance, the police officers certainly did not give the report the level of attention that it needed I accept that. A complaint was made to me in regards to it and immediately I got to Mr Romero and he rectified the issue but again it has a lot to do with ignorance on the part of the officers. Sometimes we don’t really know procedures even though a crime may be committed by a person who is deemed to be mentally challenged it is not for us the police to decide that we are not going to charge that person. What we normally do is that the person is charged and then the court has its own way of determining whether or not the person is fit to stand trial but sometimes police have this mindset that once it is a person who is mentally challenged we cannot charge the person that is not what the law is and it’s a matter of making sure that we sensitize and educate our officers more where mentally or suspected mentally challenged persons are concerned and again it might also have to do with the phobia that police officers have in dealing with patients. We have seen a number of officers getting into trouble for dealing with mental patients so while I could understand the officer’s viewpoint I cannot accept the fact that they did not do what ought to have been done in the first instance.”