Even as Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Watson Duke was addressing the hundreds who gathered to witness the great swim, chaos and confusion erupted outside the Scarborough fishing depot as a wrecker, accompanied by a police officer, arrived and hoisted a car.
At about 8.45am, the focus changed from Duke’s swim protest to the wrecker.
This prompted chants from those gathered telling the operator, “Drop the car” and “Allyuh go from here”.
Several people stood in the way of the wrecker while others jumped into their cars and blocked the wrecker’s pathway telling the driver and policeman, the driver of the car was present. When that failed to convince the wrecker operator and the police to release the car, stones were launched at the wrecker breaking one of the side mirrors.
Within minutes, sirens were heard blaring in the distance as other police, soldiers and Coast Guard members swooped down on the area.
The crowd scattered and the wrecker left with the car which Newsday later learnt belonged to CNews freelance cameraman Kyron Reid.
As people left the area, they expressed dissatisfaction with the way the matter was handled.
One man who did not wished to be named said, “This is stupidness. The man was parked at the side of the road and there was no “No Parking” signs around. They came here under strict orders because is Watson having this thing here. They were sent by their seniors to break up what happening here.”
Another man said, “Tobagonians are always treated this way. The car was parked at the side of the street and the driver was not disturbing any traffic. The police clearly just showed up to show off. That action was totally unwarranted but, as my friend said, they had strict orders.
A woman also chimed in. “What that wrecker doing? What is the legality? Because as far as I know, he is supposed to look around the area for the driver and if he doesn’t find the driver, then he has all rights to wreck. But did he even look?
I stand up right here, see they pull up and just saddle up the vehicle. Them different in this place yes. Why the powers that be fighting with us the small man?”