OMUTHIYA - An Omuthiya man who was falsely accused of stealing a gas stove component from a local store has expressed unhappiness with how the police handled the case.
Mathew Barnabas (45) was allegedly assaulted by store owner and security guard at the retail and wholesale shop after he was accused of stealing a valve for a gas stove while he initially came to purchase one.
The incident happened on 6 August and police had to be summoned to the scene and eventually apprehended Barnabas.
However, after a lengthy process of interrogation, there was a new twist to the story after the assailant claimed Barnabas was assaulted for entering a shop without a facemask. Barnabas has refuted the claim.
He showed New Era a bloodstained mask he reportedly wore on the fateful day.
He further claimed the police denied him the chance to open a criminal case until he roped in the help of police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga, who then instructed the regional commander Armas Shivute to address the issue.
A case of assault read with grievous bodily harm, CR no 28/08/20, was subsequently opened against his assailants.
“There was a long queue in the shop, so I saw someone I know who I asked to pay for the product, and I stood aside waiting. While I was standing, I saw one of the store owners approaching me, saying I stole a valve, but what I had in my hand was an old one that I brought along to come compare and make sure I buy the correct thing,” he narrated.
“Before I could say anything, he shoved me while calling the security guard who hit me with a sjambok on the face and later started punching me.” Barnabas expressed dismay over how his matter is being handled and accused the police of siding with his assailants, questioning why they are not arrested when they admitted of having assaulted him.
“Now the police are telling me to look for three witnesses who were there when I was being attacked. I went there alone where do I get such people. But they could see I was bleeding and injured. They declined to accept the statement from an eyewitness, the girl I asked to pay for the product, arguing that she is a minor and cannot testify,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, regional commander Shivute said he met with the aggrieved and was advised to open a case of which he did.
“The victim is known to be a habitual offender with many cases pending against him, so there might have been a confusion in the first instance. He is a troublesome man in the community, some of the pending cases include random assault of people. But now that the case is opened, we will investigate and look into his matter diligently,” stated Shivute. – firstname.lastname@example.org