A month after five teenagers escaped from the Youth Training Centre in Arouca, one of them has been recaptured.
Jaden Fletcher, 16, was found by police officers at an abandoned house at Mayaro.
An anonymous caller to the 800-TIPS line informed police officers that Fletcher was seen at the dilapidated ply-board structure near the Mafeking Recreation Ground at Mafeking Village.
Around 1.45 p.m. PCs Sarabjit, Rampersad, Charles and Ramnarine of the Mayaro CID and Task Force surrounded the premises at Mafeking Road.
The closest neighbours were at least 60 feet away.
The officers entered the small house, where they found Fletcher.
He was alone, sitting on the floor and he appeared startled when the officers entered through the door.
Police said two bags containing clothing were found near him.
He said nothing to officers as he was taken into custody and placed in the marked police vehicle.
The teenager was taken to the Mayaro Police Station, and was expected to be transferred to the Arouca CID where he was expected to be charged with escaping lawful custody.
Fletcher and four other inmates of YTC escaped from the facility around 2.45 a.m. on October 3.
Prisoners Dillano Marcano, 16, of La Paille Village, Caroni; Anthony Ramsumair, 19, of New Village Extension, La Fortune, Woodland; Darren Scott, 18, of O’Meara Road, Carapo Village, Arima; and Shakeel Brian Seepersad, 18, of Sea Trace, Bagatelle Road, Diego Martin, remain on the run.
Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson thanked the public for their assistance and support.
“I am relieved that he has been recaptured. But I will be more relieved when all five are recaptured. It would be on my conscience committing further offences. I thank Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and in their help and support in the search and recapture of the abscondees,” Wilson said. “I thank the public for their support and any information that led to the recapture today. We do appreciate it. We remind those who may be harbouring fugitives that it is an offence to do so. Anyone with information on the other four come forward with it so that we can bring closure to this unfortunate incident. Come forward to the police with the information for the others to be captured.”
Wilson sent a message to his officers to be more vigilant in their duties.
“I want to remind prison officers for the need to be vigilant and pay attention to details. When we falter in the penal system, it falls back on law enforcement. Despite our circumstances and things can be better in terms of our infrastructure we shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to do our jobs,” the prisons commissioner said.
Prayers for escapee
Fletcher’s grandmother, Carol Fletcher, 61, expressed relief that he was found and that he was not harmed in his recapture.
In an interview with the Express at her home at Bulbosa Drive, Orchid Gardens, Pleasantville, yesterday evening, she said: “I did not feel good when I heard he had escaped. I was very worried about him. I was worried that he would have gotten killed by the police.”
“Every minute of every day since he got out I have been praying for him. I had asked other people to pray for him. I am relieved now,” she said.
The grandmother said she had visited him at YTC in September.
Carol Fletcher’s husband, Anthony Smith, 68, said that shortly after midnight on October 6 police officers came to their home to search for the teenager.
“Twenty-seven police officers in tactical gear came here. They locked down the area. They searched the house, all of the rooms. They said they heard that he was here, but he was not,” said Smith.
Carol Fletcher said she wanted her grandson to serve his sentence.
“I want him to stay at YTC. He can get whatever help, counselling, and education up there. Let them help him,” she said.