Police on the scene after the discovery of the body of the vagrant known as “Pitiful”. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock.)
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The very first day of 2018 brought death, as the body of a homeless man, known to residents of Eagle Hall only as “Pitiful”, was discovered on the ground on the premises of the People’s Market yesterday morning.
There was a heavy police presence in the area when the DAILY NATION arrived on the scene, with several officers conducting investigations.
A group of residents at Ricky’s Sports Bar & Mall opposite the scene were outside observing the investigation. When asked about the identity of the deceased, they reponded that he was simply known as “Pitiful”.
The group told the sad story of how the man, once a flashy dresser, singer and dancer in his heyday, had fallen on hard times after a relationship turned sour.
The residents said that, according to community stories, the homeless man began wandering the streets singing the lyrics, “They call me Mr Pitiful. Baby that’s my name now”, from the 1964 Otis Redding song Mr Pitiful. The name stuck.
Resident Ricardo Greaves explained that he came to open the bar around 8:20 a.m. when someone told him Pitiful was sitting down between the hedges of the People’s Market.
After a few minutes of observing Pitiful lying motionless, Greaves said he went to check on him, only to realise he was dead.
“He was never a fella to interfere with anybody. If you interfered with him, he would defend himself,” Greaves said.
Other residents also gave an account of Pitiful, describing him as a street character who was very unkempt and would add any piece of material he found to his outfit.
They said the homeless man frequented the general Eagle Hall area for several years, begging for money.
In a press release, police public relations officer Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler said police were still conducting investigations into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death and would be awaiting the results of a post-mortem to guide their investigations. (AD)