St Thomas mother anxious to find her son
A fearful Melrose, St Thomas mother is appealing to her 20-year-old son Romario Lashley, who is accused of shooting a police constable last weekend, to urgently contact her so that she can assist with his hand over to the authorities.
Fifty-year-old Maxine Lashley was on the verge of tears today as she spoke to Barbados TODAY about the events of this past weekend which resulted in police officers searching her home on two occasions, looking for her son who allegedly shot 35-year-old police officer Shane Newton of Foul Bay, St Philip in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The officer, who is attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, was shot in his shoulder after responding to a report just after midnight. He is currently warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he is being treated for shoulder injuries.
Lashley said she believed her son had gone into hiding because he feared for his life.
“I want Romario Lashley to please contact me so that I will be able to take him in because at the present moment I am living in fear that he may lose his life . . . . I really don’t want it to come to that,” she told Barbados TODAY.
The mother of four said her blood pressure had gone through the roof; she has had sleepless nights and has lost her appetite from the stress of not seeing her son since Friday morning when he left for work.
The desperate mother also said she had contacted an attorney-at-law who had agreed to represent her son, noting that his family had his best interest at heart.
“Don’t think that you have to continue to be on the run because it jeopardizes your life. I would really like this to come to an end, so please contact us so we can get this sorted out,” she pleaded.
Lashley said while she was not defending Romario, she did not believe there should be any decisions made on his punishment before he received a fair trial and his side of the story is heard.
“When you break the law, yes, you would be punished. But I just want him to be treated fairly because I am not the type of person who would encourage someone who has broken the law, even if it is my child. If it is my child I would not hesitate to take him in. I just want him to get a fair break. I don’t want him gunned down in the street like a dog, he is a human being,” she insisted.
Lashley complained that the officers who searched her home were aggressive and disrespectful. She said she was aware that the lawmen had to carry out their duties, but was adamant it should not be done in a haphazard, disrespectful way.
“Really and truly there were three officers that wanted to rush through and search this place and one who said, ‘give me the keys before we break it’. That is not necessary because we were fully cooperative.
“Every time I turn around there is one very angry officer with a shotgun strapped on him who said to me, ‘tell him to come in and bring the big gun’. That is not necessary,” Lashley stressed.
The troubled woman also complained of the behaviour of officers who searched the home of her 77-year-old mother and 78-year-old father, charging that her family members were unfairly treated.
“If you see one of my nieces body! They told them that they would take away the children from them and I don’t understand that. One of the children’s father had to get an attorney to get those children. My nieces and nephews say the treatment was horrible . . . You cannot treat people this way,” she said.
Meanwhile, as investigations continue into the shooting, the officer who underwent surgery this morning is said to be in stable condition.
When contacted Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch told Barbados TODAY if the police had indeed informed Lashley when they issued the warrant that they were looking for her son, she should advise him to present himself to officers.
He also advised her to file a complaint to the relevant authority if she thought the officers were unprofessional.
“He can do that with an attorney-at-law. If she believes the police acted unprofessionally in conducting the warrant then she can make the report to the Office of Professional Responsibility,” Welch said.