ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Police officials have confirmed that a number of goats were found bound, gagged and dead when officers arrived at a Brown’s Avenue animal pen after being summoned by the owner of the animals.
Marcus John said a simple dispute between neighbours over roaming animals escalated into a full-blown feud this weekend.
According to John, on Thursday his neighbour angrily accused his (John’s) goats of devouring his crop.
“He was behind of me cussing, saying he was going to kill me. I told him, ‘If you have a problem with the goats dem and they eat down your things, why you don’t show me what they eat and I pay you for them? I don’t have a problem with that,”’ John recounted to OBSERVER Media.
However, the goat owner alleged that the neighbour would not be appeased even after promises of compensation for the consumed portion of the crop. He claimed that the neighbour threatened to kill him, his family and the herd if he did not move his pen from the area.
“I’m a businessman and I don’t want enemies that cause my life (to be) in danger, because I know how the men dem go on when they lose dem things,” the farmer said.
John said he was alerted Saturday that the neighbour planned to retaliate against him by harming his goats that very evening.
He said he stood vigil from his home, but fell asleep only to be awakened at 2 am to the incessant barking of the dog and baying of goats. He claimed that he found the pen door tampered with and most of his 23 goats missing.
Fearful of following the noises, he decided to go to the police station.
According to John, the officer told him that he would have to return to the station in the morning, because there were currently no police vehicles available to take him to the scene.
The farmer alleged that he returned to the American Road Police Headquarters between 5 and 6 am the following morning and police followed him back to scene of the alleged crime.
Upon leading the policemen down the path through the bushes, he said he found five of his goats bound by the mouth and hooves; four had suffocated.
The alleged victim said he then fingered his neighbour as the person he suspected had killed his animals. According to John, the alleged suspect was subsequently questioned and taken into police custody.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)