Mob attacks alleged rapist, police, medics
An alleged rapist of a four-year-old girl is under police guard in hospital after he was severely beaten by Sir Lowry’s Pass Village residents.
The man was rescued by police after about 50 people beat him with with rocks, pipes and sticks.
Paramedics had to seek refuge at the Sir Lowry’s Pass police station after they continued attacking the man while he was being loaded into an ambulance.
The attack came as the residents were searching for a missing 13-year-old girl they suspect was raped and killed two weeks ago.
Residents said they caught the man raping the girl in a communal toilet at the Rasta Camp informal settlement. The man tried to escape but was caught as he fled over railway tracks.
Police spokesman November Filander said a neighbour found the 19-year-old man in the toilet with the girl.
“The suspect then fled the scene but was caught and badly assaulted.
“A case of rape is being investigated. The girl was taken the hospital for medical attention,” Filander said.
The girl’s grandmother, who may not be named to protect the child’s identity, said her granddaughter had been taken to a doctor for examination and trauma counselling.
The family had last seen the little girl playing with friends not far from their home.
“I had just put a jacket on her and she went outside. Then I heard screams coming from outside. When I got out of the house there she was. She could not say anything. She was just crying.”
The grandmother said the man was known to her family and didn’t live far from their home.
Some residents said the man was mentally ill, but others said he was on drugs.
A resident who was part of the group who found the girl said the man had fled after noticing them.
She did not want to be identified.
“He pushed me out of the way. We ran after him and he was caught by other people near the train tracks.
“We can’t have people who do such things in our community. If he comes out we will kill him,” she said.
She said that in addition to the missing 13-year-old they suspected had been raped and killed two weeks ago, a seven-year-old girl had been raped and killed recently, and her body buried at the back of the informal settlement.
At one point the residents gathered at the railway tracks behind the police station where the man was being kept before he was taken to the Somerset West Hospital.
Residents were upset that police had intervened and pelted them with rocks. They also threw rocks at passing vehicles.
Strand resident Andrew Solomons, who was visiting the settlement yesterday, said it would serve as a warning to anyone who thought about harming children in the area.
“He was beaten up pretty badly but he could still stand. If someone else wants to try something like this then now they will know to think twice,” Solomons said.