Mentally challenged Vieux Fort man runs amok with cutlass

There was pandemonium at Cedar Heights, Vieux Fort, last night when a mentally challenged youth ran amok with a cutlass.

The incident occurred at about 9 pm,  the Times was informed.

According to reports, family members of the mentally challenged youth summoned the police after he started acting up.

An eyewitness told the Times that the youth attacked his father, inflicting a wound near the neck area and also wounded a police officer before eventually being subdued.

The officer sustained injury to his ear as a cutlass strike narrowly missed his head, the Times was told.

Both the father and the officer were hospitalized, according to information obtained by the Times.

According to reports, the police on the scene fired several non-lethal bean bag shots at the young assailant which failed to stop him.

Police then resorted to potentially lethal ammunition, shooting the assailant in the leg, according to reports.

An eyewitness told the Times that before being subdued, the youth had also tried to attack his brother.

The father had been maimed in the past by the same young man, the Times has been reliably informed.

It is reported that some members of the community who had gathered to watch the incident, at one point started throwing stones at the young man who was acting up before he was finally subdued and taken to hospital.

Some in the crowd were urging the police to use live rounds, one eyewitness said.

Vieux Fort police have a protocol in place for dealing with mentally challenged individuals, involving the use of non-lethal options.

However law enforcers have complained to the new National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, that enough alternatives to the use of lethal force are not available.

The complaints were made recently when Francis, a former Deputy Police Commissioner, met members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), who operate in the North of the Island.

A meeting has been scheduled for next week with officers in the South of the Island.

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