TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Cutlass attack
Accounts clerk almost chopped to death; loses right hand
PORT OF SPAIN –– Doctors were unable to reattach the right hand of a 35-year-old New Grant woman who was almost chopped to death during a brutal attack at her home on Saturday morning.
Jennifer Rampersad, an accounts clerk, who sustained several chops about her hands and head, remained warded at the San Fernando General Hospital up to last night. But her attacker is still at large.
At around 1:40 a.m. on Saturday, Rampersad’s mother Irene Soodeen was jolted out of her sleep by her daughter’s screams at their Sancho Road home. She ran out of her room to find Rampersad lying in a pool of blood in the corridor with gaping wounds to both hands and to the back of her head.
Police said her right hand was hanging by the skin at the wrist and two fingers on her left hand were almost severed. Surgeons later had to amputate her right hand from the wrist and the thumb and index finger on her left hand.
When the T&T Guardian visited the family’s home yesterday, Soodeen and other relatives had just come back from visiting Rampersad at the hospital. Recalling the ordeal, Soodeen, 72, said she was asleep when she heard her daughter bawling.
“I was strong asleep in bed. All I could hear is my daughter bawling, ‘Mammy, mammy, come and see what somebody doing me’. I thought she was having a nightmare. When I come out all I see is she bathe in blood,” Soodeen recalled.
“She tell me to search the house, a man in the house. She said the front doors were wide open. She get up off the ground and I try to help she outside and she fall down on the step. We remain there in a pool of blood until the police come.”
The elderly woman said she initially cried out for help but no one came to their assistance.
“I bawl and bawl and bawl until I think a neighbour hear me and call the police. They came very fast. It was not easy for me. God give me the strength to stand up and bawl.”
She said her daughter had been living there for 19 years and five years ago her husband died. Soodeen said she moved in with her daughter two years ago and a few months ago her grandson Adam, 22, began staying with them. Rampersad has no children.
Soodeen said she had no idea who would want to attack her daughter, noting she was a hard worker and a very nice person.
Afraid that the intruder might return, Soodeen said she and her grandson decided yesterday to stay by relatives. Rampersad’s niece Lisa Suraj said her aunt was transferred from ICU to the ward yesterday evening, but she was not speaking much. The family has since changed the locks in the house.
Visiting the scene was a party of police officers from the Princes Town CID and Tableland Police, led by Superintendent Rajkumar from the Princes Town CID. However, investigators have been unable to speak to Rampersad because of her condition. But officers said they found no sign of forced entry into the home, leading them to believe that Rampersad may have known her attacker or the person had a spare key to the house.
This latest attack comes as several women’s rights groups and activists have been raising concerns about the level of violent attacks against women, and days before International Women’s Day is celebrated. Only on Friday, geriatric nurse Aamina Mohammed was found with her throat slit at a construction site in San Fernando.