Mon | Nov 29, 2021

Man who tried to free Smith says he felt a million demons

Published:Tuesday | October 26, 2021 | 12:09 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Dave Walker of Swamp Lane was one of the first persons to give a helping hand in the rescue and retrieval operation.
Dave Walker of Swamp Lane was one of the first persons to give a helping hand in the rescue and retrieval operation.
Policemen look under the bonnet of the death car in which Kevin O. Smith and Constable Orlando Irons were travelling. Smith and Irons died on Monday, while two other policemen were hospitalised with serious injuries.
Policemen look under the bonnet of the death car in which Kevin O. Smith and Constable Orlando Irons were travelling. Smith and Irons died on Monday, while two other policemen were hospitalised with serious injuries.
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While bystanders armed with cell phones turned into amateur paparazzi filming and snapping the final moments of Pastor Kevin O. Smith, a passing gas cylinder distributor was one of the first responders who offered to help crash victims in Linstead, St Catherine, on Monday morning.

Dave Walker, who left his home at Swamp Lane in Bog Walk for work, said that his interest was piqued by the onlookers who swarmed what turned out to be a death scene.

“They were taking pictures and me say, ‘No sah!’, and stop mi bike and hear the policemen growling because dem was in pain,” Walker, who sent for a crowbar to pry off the door, told The Gleaner.

Walker said that having recognised instantly Smith’s face that has gained notoriety since the bizarre killings at a Montego Bay church two Sundays ago, he felt nothing when he checked the pastor’s pulse.

The good Samaritan said that he was unnerved by an awful feeling as he sought to rescue Smith, whose rhetoric and dogma have been criticised as cultic by many orthodox clerics.

“When me touch him, mi feel like a heavy burden, like one something just raise come over me like is a spirit … . Mi say, ‘Father God, just shield me from this because I know is a very powerful pastor, but you more powerful than him,” he said.

“... From mi go pon the scene, mi feel the powerfulness like you know some pastor have, like a million demon back a him.”

Smith was leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in Paradise, Montego Bay, St James.

He was in custody since Sunday, October 17, after an alleged blood ritual at his church claimed the lives of two members.

A third person died during an alleged firefight with the police.

Smith and Andre Ruddock were being transported to the Major Investigation Division (MID), where they were expected to be charged with murder and other offences (Ruddock was slapped with charges late Monday.)

Cop died in crash

Constable Orlando Irons also died in the three-vehicle collision, which involved an unmarked police vehicle, a blue Toyota Camry, a white Ford Ranger, and a red Toyota Vitz. The crash occurred shortly after 9 a.m.

Irons was assigned to the Montego Bay Fugitive Apprehension Team.

Two other cops were hospitalised.

Walker told The Gleaner he removed Irons’ firearm from his holster and handed it to another policeman on the crash scene.

“The police was bleeding through his nose and mouth. I put on a glove, because the police dem never search the one at back,” Walker said.

Another bystander told The Gleaner that many onlookers had ill will for Smith. She herself had little concern for the pastor.

“Mi never did interest fi see him. Honestly, mi did just want dem tek out the police dem because you see seh dem inna pain,” the woman said.

She praised Walker and professional first responders for moving swiftly to extract the injured men from the wreckage.

Smith was reportedly the last person taken from the disabled vehicle.

Peter Abrahams, councillor for the Bog Walk division, told The Gleaner that the Linstead Bypass was vulnerable to crashes. He referenced an accident two years ago that occurred at the same spot. A tree was split on impact, he said of the earlier crash.

Abrahams said that the roadway was in need of rehabilitation.

“This is the third accident right here and I am still appealing again to the relevant authority. ... I see they are doing some of the work so far, but because of the poor surface of the road, most of the time we have serious accidents,” Abrahams said.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com