Gulf City Mall, in San Fernando. – Lincoln Holder
A Couva woman will be spending Christmas nursing injuries she got when she was assaulted in an argument over a parking space at Gulf City Mall on Sunday.
The 18-year-old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told Newsday she went to the mall to do her Christmas shopping with her mother, boyfriend and sister around 3 pm. She said she jumped out of the vehicle to direct her boyfriend to reverse into a parking spot near TGIF.
That’s when she said a woman going in the opposite direction tried to rush into the spot, hitting her boyfriend’s side-view mirror and stopping just short of her. A young man got out of the woman’s vehicle and there was an argument.
A short video taken by the victim’s sister shows the young man, who appeared to be a teenager, arguing with the 18-year-old as her mother tried to separate them.
After trading expletives, the young man lunged forward, punching her in her face.
She said uniformed officers at the mall arrrived and told her to go to the San Fernando Police Station to make a report, and to seek medical attention.
She said the young man’s punch broke her glasses and, more importantly, her nose.
“I went to the specialist (ears, nose and throat specialist at the San Fernando General Hospital) and he said that because the blow was so bad and it (the nose) is so swollen, that he can’t correct the fracture or the broken nose right away.
“He will have to give me strong painkillers and wait two weeks, until January 2, 2024, to assess the broken nose – if it’s to do surgically or, like, go under general anaesthetic and break it back into place,” she said.
“At that point, I was in just tears and I was just hysterical, because it’s Christmas time and I wouldn’t expect something like that to happen.”
Apart from being traumatised, she said she was having difficulty eating and sleeping at night because of the pain.
She expressed disappointment that none of the occupants of the other vehicle had got out to restrain the young man before he assaulted her.
The victim’s mother told Newsday she believed the woman – who she thinks is the young man’s mother – is the one who sparked the incident.
“If she didn’t pull down her window and started cursing and carrying on and driving towards us as if she wanted to hit the vehicle that we were in, I don’t think that young man would have come outside and be in such a haste, and my daughter would not be in such a position now.”
Police sources told Newsday charges could soon be laid against the perpetrator for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and malicious damage.
Statements from both parties were recorded and police are collecting CCTV footage of the incident.