Teen told cops he was ‘playing with lighter’ when burnt in lockups

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The Guyana Police Force on Sunday said the 17-year-old boy who was burned while in the lockups at the Vigilance Police Station was alone when the fire started and he told the police officers that he was playing with the lighter when his jersey caught fire.

But the teenager’s father has alleged police brutality. The boy, who the police said is a fisherman, was arrested for alleged armed robbery.

The police statement claimed that at about 10:10hrs on Sunday, the boy of Annandale, East Coast Demerara was alone when screams were heard.

The Force said when a rank made checks, he observed the boy’s jersey was on fire.

The EMT from Melanie Fire Station was summoned and he was treated.

“He was questioned and related to the police that he was given a lighter by another person who was in custody (on the bench), and he lit same and was playing with it and his jersey caught afire,” the police statement noted.

The boy was escorted to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he is being treated for burn injuries to his left side abdomen and hand.

Police said statements were taken from persons who were at the station and who witnessed when the incident occurred even as the teen and his father claimed earlier that he was set on fire by a police rank.

Two ranks at the Vigilance Police Station were placed under close arrest. Also, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating the matter.

The boy, in a video released by the family, claimed he was set on fire by police ranks.

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