A sergeant in the T&T Defence Force was arrested by officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) yesterday for the alleged rape and buggery of a child.
The officer was cornered by officers of SORT at around 1.30 pm outside a beauty salon and spa on Delhi Street, St James.
Officers tracked the suspect, after discovering a 12-year-old boy.
An internal police communication document obtained by Guardian Media stated: “A senior member of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment (TTR) is engaging in sexual activity with a 12-year- old boy. It was reported that the TTR member driving Motor Vehicle (number given) had made plans to meet with the boy on November 28th, 2019 outside a school located in the St James area.”
The statement added that between 12 pm and 1.40 pm, SORT officers and the Child Protection Unit (CPU) conducted surveillance at an educational institute in St James when the sergeant was observed driving his vehicle in the vicinity of the educational institute.
It noted that the SORT officers intercepted the vehicle and the suspect was arrested by police and a party of officers of the CPU.
The statement said that officers of the CPU later “conducted a confrontation” with the child victim and the soldier and the child positively identified him.
Video footage of the man surrendering to the heavily armed officers emerged on social media hours after the arrest.
When Guardian Media arrived at the scene, the officers were still searching the suspect’s car, while he sat in the back of a TTPS SUV.
Residents said they knew little about the situation apart from seeing the man leave his car under the watchful eye of armed officers and subsequently placed in a police vehicle.
The incident prompted some traffic disruption in St James, as the officers awaited a wrecker to remove the vehicle after they placed the suspect in a police car. The car was eventually loaded onto the wrecker and taken away.
The suspect was also driven away in the police car with officers of SORT trailing shortly before 3 pm.
In a release yesterday, the T&T Police Service confirmed the arrest of the soldier was indeed a part of an investigation by the CPU.
The TTPS said he was being interrogated about that investigation.
The man’s arrest in St. James was overseen by Superintendent Joseph Chandool of the CPU.