Thu | Dec 9, 2021

FORGIVEN

66-year-old offers hand of mercy to abductors after hellhole torture

Published:Thursday | May 6, 2021 | 12:29 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer

After a horrific encounter in which he was forced down a 55-ft hole, 66-year-old George Smart said he has forgiven his abductors and is ready to spend the rest of his life serving God and preaching love for humanity. The Portmore cab driver related...

After a horrific encounter in which he was forced down a 55-ft hole, 66-year-old George Smart said he has forgiven his abductors and is ready to spend the rest of his life serving God and preaching love for humanity.

The cab driver related the terror he experienced when he was held at gunpoint in the Jones Avenue area of Spanish Town last Wednesday night and how he survived the ordeal, declaring that God wanted him alive to tell his story.

Shortly after dropping off a woman passenger at her Jones Avenue home some time after 9:30 that night, a man pointed a gun at his head just as he was about to drive off.

Smart said he considered speeding away but scrapped that idea when he saw another man blocking the road ahead of him.

Both men pulled him out of the car, seized his cell phone, keys, and $8,000 in his possession.

“They pulled me across the road up a hill into some bushes and in the dark. I could see them pull something like a manhole cover from a hole and said to me, ‘Step down.’ After I put my feet in, they let go of me and I kept going down,” Smart told The Gleaner.

The elderly man said he bounced from side to side of the hellhole, clutching in despair until he landed at the bottom.

“I kept going down. There were stones sticking out. It was really a bumpy ride to the bottom, but God was with me. Angels were with me,” he said.

After spending the night in pitch darkness, a glimmer of sunlight in the cavernous trap gave him hope that he would be rescued, but his attackers visited him again after sunset on Thursday.

“I hear when they pull away the cover on top, so I draw myself to the side where they could not see me, and they shine a light inside, moving it around searching to see me. When they did not see me, they went away,” he said.

Smart said that Friday came and he found a bucket inside and loaded it with stones and started striking the side of the pit in the desperate hope that a passer-by would hear and rescue him.

But nightfall came again and one of his attackers, reportedly carrying a gun, returned with a light to find any signs of him.

All this time Smart continued pleading to God for deliverance, sometimes losing faith that he would ever see his loved ones again.

Saturday came and he resumed banging the bucket against the walls of the hole.

“I prayed and I prayed and said, ‘God, you are the God who made Heaven and Earth. I believe in you. Give me one more chance,” he recounted.

But he faced more attacks by his taunting abductors on Saturday night.

“They came back Saturday night and they were lighting all kinds of stuff throwing down on me. I found a piece of stick and pushed the fire from me, so now they know I was alive, so they started throwing rocks down on me, but I pulled against the side under the rock that hangs out, so I was not hurt,” he said.

On Sunday morning, Smart said he heard the manhole cover being pulled away and a bundle of plastic bags was thrown down. But fearing it was a ruse to flush him out, he kept quiet until he heard a voice with four reassuring words he had longed for: “This is the police!”

The 66-year-old said that the rescue team came just in time because he doesn’t believe he could have survived another night of respiratory torment from the burning of plastics.

Smart challenged persons in murder-plagued communities to speak up against criminals because they could be saving a life. He said he held no grudges against the men who put him through four nights of torture.

In the meantime, the St Catherine North police said on Wednesday that they have not recovered Smart’s grey 2011 Nissan AD Wagon. which was stolen.