A Santa Cruz man has appeared before a justice of the peace (JP) on seven charges arising out of an incident in which a 17-year-old was held captive at gunpoint at the MIC Institute of Technology in Arima on Monday. Michael Diaz, 32, of Upper Gasparillo Road, Santa Cruz, stood before a JP in the Arima Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He is to reappear in court on Tuesday, when the charges will be read to him by the presiding magistrate. Diaz was charged with false imprisonment, common assault with a firearm, shooting with intent, possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of a firearm and ammunition to endanger life.
Two officers – Cpl Ronald Ramdeen of the Malabar CID and Acting ASP Mervyn Edwards of the Northern Division – charged Diaz. According to reports, a man arrived at the O’Meara campus in a taxi with a 20-year-old female trainee. The taxi driver got out and went to campus security, saying the passengers had been arguing and the man had threatened to kill the woman.
Police were contacted and when they got there the man fired at them, and there was an exchange of gunfire.
The man ran into the school building and held a 17-year-old male student captive for about ten minutes. Cpl Paul De Leon of the Arima CID, engaged the suspect, persuading him to release the teenager and disarm himself.