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Mental issues floor INDECOM’s case

Published:Saturday | July 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Errol Chattoo, the director of complaints at the Western Regional Office of the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM), says he is having challenges investigating the circumstance surrounding a recent incident in which a mentally challenged man was shot and injured by a policeman in Montego Bay.

While noting that INDECOM had commenced investigations into the matter, Chattoo said that their investigation was now in limbo because the victim, who was located at the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny, was not able to provide a statement due to his mental state.

"When we re-visited him after we were told that his medical condition had improved, we found out that based on his mental situation, he was not in a fit state to be questioned," said Chattoo. "This has brought our investigations to a standstill as we are left with only the report from the police."




According to reports from the police, shortly after 12:45 a.m. this past Sunday, the mentally challenged man, who has been identified as Mark Smith, walked into the guard room at the Barnett Street Police Station armed with several bottles and attacked the police officers who were on duty at the time.

After being struck and injured, one of the police officer pulled his service pistol and fired several shots, hitting Smith in his upper body. Smith was rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where he was treated and subsequently transferred to the Falmouth Hospital and admitted in a serious condition.