Pensioner abducted in Cunupia

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pensioner Junior O’ Connor, who leaped from kidnappers’ van on Thursday night, nursing injuries he sustained while making his escape – Relatives

A 68-year-old man is hospitalised after escaping gunmen who abducted him near his Sampson Trace, Cunupia home.

According to police reports, Junior O’Connor was standing with a woman near a mini-mart at the corner of Sampson Trace and Southern Main Road at 11 pm when a white 4×4 van with an unknown registration number pulled alongside them.

A masked man armed with a gun then got out of the vehicle and demanded that O’Connor get in the vehicle.

O’Connor hesitated, and the gunman fired a shot, causing the woman to run away.

The gunman then pushed O’Connor into the van and drove off in a southerly direction along the Southern Main Road.

He was later found battered and bruised near Longdenville and taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, where he was treated for his injuries.

Newsday spoke to one of O’Connor’s relatives, who explained that he had gone to the mini-mart to get juice for an infirmed relative when he was abducted.

When Newsday spoke to the relative, she said he was in and out of consciousness but said he was briefly able to recall what happened between the time he was snatched and the time he was found.

“He said they were carrying him to a dismal place heading into Longdenville. When he realised what was taking place, he escaped by flinging himself out of the vehicle. That is how he got most of his injuries,” the relative said.

The incident was captured by a security video and was posted on social media. In the video, the van is seen pulling up to the two people. The gunman is seen jumping out of the van and he is also heard demanding O’Connor to get in.

The masked gunman, after firing a warning shot, snatched O’Connor’s female companion’s purse before shoving the elderly man into the van.

Residents expressed worry over the incident, saying nothing like that has ever happened in the area. Residents also questioned why gunmen would have wanted to kidnap a pensioner. He was described by residents as well-known and friendly.

“He does be on his own scene,” said one confused resident. “The most he would do is drink a little rum and lime with his partners.

“As soon as this happened, I told my nephews that they had to be careful. “I don’t even want to trust the daylight. I don’t know if people were marking him.”

Relatives told Newsday that CCTV footage from different areas picked up the same van, suggesting that the van’s occupants were searching for someone.

Police found one round of .38 mm special ammunition when crime scene investigators processed the scene. Central Division police officers are continuing investigations.