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Shaken and angry

Hockey group robbed by six men after evening game

A robbery in a section of the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) car park last night has left over a dozen members of the Barbados Ball Hockey League, mostly Canadians, shaken and angry.

Around 11:30 p.m., after a game of hockey at the Culloden Road, St Michael location, the men were liming when six men, armed with knives and cutlasses, pounced on them.

One of the attackers told the men he had a gun and was not afraid to use it if they refused to hand over their valuables.

Gilles Gosselin, one of the directors of the league whose members range in age from late 20s to early 50s, said the thieves were shirtless and their faces were wrapped in bandanas.

Gilles Gosselin

Gilles Gosselin

“So we proceeded to hand them what we had and they dispersed,” he said.

The thieves escaped – some on foot and the others in one of the victims’ car – with a mobile phone, cash and jewellery.

Immediately after the bandits left, the hockey players called police and officers from the Hastings Police Station responded.

Police confirmed getting the report and said the incident was being investigated.

“We are grateful that nobody was hurt. We are grateful to the police department for responding as quickly as they did and doing whatever they could. But we are at the same time shaken, a little angry and a little disappointed. Something like this is unacceptable. It should be unacceptable to all of the good people of Barbados,” a visibly upset Gosselin told Barbados TODAY.

He said the group which consists of about 35 members, mostly expatriates, has been playing hockey at the spot every Thursday night for more than six years and did not expect anything like last night’s episode.

“We usually play from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and then afterwards we hang out and socialize and have a beer and the police often come by and make sure we are alright, and we have done this without incident,” he said.

Gosselin, who is also a business owner, told Barbados TODAY he was concerned that such incidents could impact negatively on the island’s reputation as a safe destination.

“There is a bigger picture and message here. We have discussed it this morning and we are angry because there are about 30 expats in this league that are here on work permits and we contribute to the economy of Barbados through the international business sector, and we rely on Barbados’ reputation of being a safe place to live. I think incidents like this are unusual but incidents of theft and armed robbery seem to be increasing and it affects Barbados’ reputation and its ability to attract business,” he said.

“This is something that you really don’t want to tell people happened, but it obviously can happen and it affects your willingness to invite people to come in. I doubt we will continue to play here because I doubt our families want us putting ourselves in situations that are risky,” he added.

President of the league Maurice Fortier also shared similar sentiments.

“A lot of us who play here . . . are businesspeople and if we have visitors here we would bring them out. That is definitely going to have an impact because no visitor will want to come out and play with us. We have had hockey teams come down and play with us before from other countries, including Bermuda and Canada. The question is, are they going to want to come down and play now?” said Fortier.

15 Responses to Shaken and angry

  1. Cassandra Gittens
    Cassandra Gittens January 23, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    when tourist stop coming to bim what is going to happen

  2. Sarah Pomeranz Layne
    Sarah Pomeranz Layne January 23, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Unqualified.. Humm. . I know several people who have been attacked in that same area over the last 15 years.. I know items that have been stolen from 2 schools along that stretch of road and most recently one of the groundsman from one of those schools beaten by someone in that same area.. with regards to the people living in the area.. they Demand money from patrons who park their cars along the back of the old st Gabriels school grounds during events at those same 2 schools.. as “payment” for making sure someone doesn’t steal anything from those same cars .. and I know this because it has happened to me.. unqualified.. right..

    • Niccolo Costa
      Niccolo Costa January 24, 2015 at 12:30 am

      I agree with you Sarah Pomeranz Layne I know of many person who have been robbed around NIS on evenings and the stretch towards Purity Bakery for years

    • Gabriel Abed
      Gabriel Abed January 24, 2015 at 5:48 am

      …. which part of SIX (6) attackers did you not get? This was not one guy deciding to rob people or break into a house. This was a mini-mob … cutlass, knives, guns….

  3. Francis McClean
    Francis McClean January 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Not until the impact of crime is deemed responsible for decreased tourism substantially, it will continue to be brushed over.

    • Anne Ince
      Anne Ince January 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Check the crime from the top.

  4. Annetta Paul
    Annetta Paul January 23, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Don’t worry Mr Gosselin. The Barbados police ain’t going to give up until they catch these robbers. Mr Gosselin don’t let these few bad apples change your mind about the entire basket. This could have happen in any country, it is a terrible thing for anyone to experience especially when your life is on the line like that but don’t let these crooked robbers win. Go ahead and get some good security and continue to enjoy life with the GOOD PEOPLE of Barbados.

  5. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince January 23, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    What about speaker of the house ?everybody stealing..not only ones in shacks..

  6. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince January 23, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    The natives are

  7. Frederick Walcott
    Frederick Walcott January 23, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Not playing down the gravity of any situation but if this country’s reputation is to be determined purely by its crime demographics, the entire populations of North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa would be seeking asylum in Barbados given their own penchant for theft, armed robbery, mass murder, police brutality etc etc etc etc etc etc. Hypocrites! QED.

  8. Samud Ali
    Samud Ali January 24, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Every time it happens someone quick to point out how other places have robberies too. Stop comparing; we are a shoe box and if a stick of dynamite goes off in Wembley stadium, the whole of England does not feel it, however a stick of dynamite in a shoe box spells destruction. We must stop measuring ourselves by the failure of others. I can boast of travelling around major cities a lot and the only place I was ever robbed ( 3 break ins and one cutlass filled mugging) was right here at home

  9. Toni Beckles
    Toni Beckles January 24, 2015 at 2:03 am

    I don’t fully agree with whoever thinks it’s the folk from the area. Years ago some guys from bush hall and surrounding areas went to Christ Church and robbed Montrose Minimart and it’s only because the owner was an old marksman and shot and killed one and crippled another that they knew who the trio was. I have said this to say it’s not always someone from the area.

  10. Mark Walkes January 24, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Firstly I’d like to say that it is true that this type of incident occurs with regularity in the developed world as well, however for small islands the negative impact has far wider consequences as an island like Barbados are very dependent on tourism. As attractive as it is, Barbados cannot continue to have negative publicity and particularly where there are murders and shootings etc.

    The public need to get behind the law and support them in their quest to expose those bent on crime and the proceeds of crime. It is a very small island and certainly there are some who know some of these thugs, but keep quiet. Well to those silent folk, your short-term gain will be medium to long term loss. When there are redundancies across the private sector where there is a direct or indirect reliance on tourism and this is affected in numbers coming to the island, then these silent folk will be the first to shout the Gov’t need to do more.

    These thugs don’t want to work, but expect that they could steal and rob just for short-term gain. It’s a pity they weren’t shot whilst in the act.

  11. Alex Currie January 24, 2015 at 9:55 am

    To what degree has the force unemployment of the many government workers and a quiet tourist industry over these past years influenced crime in Barbados?
    Since coming the first time in 1980, I cannot say Barbados was crime free but crimes of this nature and assaults including rape seem to be on the rise in recent years.
    Is there a correlation?

  12. Asiba January 24, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Cheese on Bredders ! why why why


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