Police probe death of Moruga boy, 12, stabbed in neck

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Princes Town District Health Facility –

THE rural community of 6th Company Circular, Indian Walk, Moruga, was plunged into mourning as word spread that one of the children from the village had died from an unexplained stab wound to his neck on Monday night.

Tariq Toney, 12, a Standard Four student of Fifth Company Baptist School, is believed to have fallen on a knife he was using to cut coconuts at his home around 5.30 pm on Monday.

He was pronounced dead at the Princes Town District Health Facility around 7.50 pm.

Police are probing the circumstances, as it is unclear exactly how Tariq suffered what doctors described as “a three-centimetre-long puncture wound at least eight centimetres deep and extending medically and superiorly, to the right side of his neck.”

Police led by Sgt Neil Nanan of the Princes Town CID spent hours at the family home on Tuesday as they tried to interview Tariq’s mother, Jayloy Toney Clarke, and her husband, Anthony Clarke.

The interviews were lengthy, as the mother was said to be too distraught to explain coherently to the police exactly how her son was fatally injured. The police left without completing the interviews.

Neither family members, relatives nor neighbours were willing to speak to the media, who camped outside the house for several hours.

Police said Tariq is reportedly the second child Clarke has lost, but details of the other child’s death were not clear.

A police report said Tariq was cutting coconuts around 5.30 pm at the back of the family’s home. He reportedly cut a coconut and gave it to his mother through one of the windows. She took a sip and handed it back to him.

She watched him return to the coconut tree from her bedroom on the southern side of the house, where she was with her husband, she told the police, and about a minute passed before she called out to her son to come inside and take a bath.

In her report to the police, Clarke said after approximately after a minute, Tariq came into her room, bleeding from a wound to his neck.

She said he told her, “Look what happen, Mum, look what happen.”

The mother said she contacted the EHS for assistance but waited some time for their arrival. Around 6.34 pm, she contacted her brother Owen Toney, who lives at Manahambre Road, Princes Town. The child was put in the tray of Toney’s Isuzu van and taken to the Princes Town Health Facility.

He was unresponsive. He was treated and attempts made to resuscitate him, but he died around 7.50 pm.

Police were called and acting Cpl Clarence and PC Thomas went to the hospital, where they saw Tariq lying on a stretcher.

The body was photographed, processed and taken to the mortuary of the San Fernando General Hospital pending an autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre.

Crime scene investigators (CSI) PC Sooknanan and PC Harricharan visited the house and confiscated a wooden-handled silver knife.

Enquiries are continuing.