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Gang attacks ZR

Maria Bradshaw

Gang attacks ZR

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A ROUTE taxi (ZR) conductor was stabbed about the body, and the van he was working pelted with stones and bottles by a group of men last Saturday evening.Conductor Kemar Pile was treated and discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday while the van – ZR 202 – is in a garage awaiting extensive and expensive repairs. The upset owner, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, told the DAILY NATION the van was attacked by a group of about 50 men from Haynesville, St James, while plying that route around 6:30 p.m. She said it happened because two young women from the area refused  to pay their fares.“I was sitting at the front of the vehicle next  to the driver when I heard this argument. I looked back and I saw the conductor arguing with these two young women because they were refusing to pay the fare. They were cursing and carrying on and I heard them say that when the van get to Haynesville it will be all over.”The woman said when the van reached Haynesville, the women disembarked without paying. They approached a man who was sitting on a step and spoke to him about the conductor.“He came up to the van and started arguing with the conductor, and I saw him looking around on the ground as if he was looking for a rock,” the owner said.She said they drove off and picked up a passenger but when they got back into Haynesville on the return trip she saw a beach chair in the road.“We stopped and all of a sudden rocks start coming through the van. I saw the same two young women leading a gang of about  50 men. A man come up  to the driver side and  pull the keys out of the ignition. When the windows got smashed, men just start climbing into the van and  they start to cut  up the conductor.“He was running from the back of the van bleeding real bad and screaming at the driver  to move but we could not move because we did not have the key. I felt a lash in my back and realise that a rock had hit me.”The owner said she ducked to avoid being struck again.“I called the police on my cellphone and they told us not to move,” she said, adding that officers arrived minutes later.By that time, the group of men had fled the scene.The van was littered with about 30 stones, seats were torn and stained with blood, shards of broken glass were scattered on the floor and a lone bottle landed on the dashboard next to the cracked windscreen.The owner, who received a bruise, said: “I cannot believe that all of this happened because these women refused to pay $1.50. A man could have lost his life just for $1.50. This is what we have to put up with in this area. There are gangs in Haynesville, and the men does give the workers bare problems.”She said repairs to the van would cost more than $25 000. Police are investigating.