JENSEN LA VENDE
INTOXICATED and lost, Ashdale Mc Hutchinson was chased into bushes by men from Oropune Gardens last Wednesday, his clothes burned when the bushes were set ablaze. He was then beaten and labelled a pervert.
But his relatives say he is not. The mild-mannered 49-year-old lived in Lopinot with his mother and a barrage of nieces and nephews. He calls children cousin as a result of this. In 2010, his aunt, Carmen Mc Hutchinson, 68, was gunned down at her Gonzales home along with his cousins Asha Roberts, 23, Javon Roberts, 18, and LL Roberts, 13. Four-year-old Zara Sylvester and her aunt Jehial Roberts, 22, were also shot and wounded. To date no one has been held responsible. A relative who escaped the shootings, Mario Mc Hutchinson, invited Ashdale to his Oropune Gardens home for a family lime. What happened after that remains a mystery.
Police reports said they received a call about an alleged pervert who was beaten and detained in Oropune Gardens. The semi-conscious man was taken to hospital and the residents hailed themselves as heroes.
The next day, the heroes began to appear as villains to Mario and his wife Ann Roberts who had learned that Mc Hutchinson never made it home as they thought, but was beaten by a mob and was in serious condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in the intensive care unit as a “John Doe.” After residents realised the man they had beaten to a frazzle the night before was a relative of their neighbour, they began trickling in to offer condolences and to “clear the air.”
Roberts who began crying during the interview, said she chased them and told them to go to the Arouca Police Station. Some of the men recorded as being part of the beating, attempted to distance themselves from the incident as they learned Mc Hutchinson’s conditioned was worsening. Yesterday, Roberts said he was no longer on a ventilator and doctors were monitoring the swelling of his brain. She said doctors informed her that if Mc Hutchinson lived, he would be in a vegetated state for the rest of his life.
Roberts said, “He was here with a set of children, if he was that type of person he would not have been around my grandchildren and them. He is not an animal or a vagrant. He is a human being. He is such a nice man, when he came he bought chow from the children around and shared it.
“He went to get a cigarette because I told my husband it was time for him to leave because it was getting late. Next thing we heard the following day was he is the hospital, we could have heard he dead.”
Residents who claimed they came after the assault and stopped further beatings, said they were thankful the community came together for what they called a worthy cause since the alarm that rang out was: “A man try to go with a lil girl.” On the other hand, they said the residents who beat, literally, the pants of Mc Hutchinson, went overboard.
“The story keeps changing, right now is three different stories you hearing and you not hearing what this man do,” one resident said. “That was wickedness.”
Others said the child who was supposedly approached by Mc Hutchinson should not have been in the park unsupervised. Mc Hutchinson’s crime has gone from a child predator to a man who called a child he did not know “cousin.” No reports from police or residents stated that he acted inappropriately. Children who were playing in the park yesterday said Mc Hutchinson did no wrong. By the time Sunday Newsday left the area yesterday, the majority of residents had expressed regret for the actions of the vigilantes and hope that Mc Hutchinson would survive his ordeal.