A number of people have expressed dismay on social media at a man who dashed left a child during the recent armed robbery of the Sea Town ‘Chinese restaurant’ on Brazil Street, Castries.
Some persons have branded the man a “coward”.
Macy wrote: “As none of us know for sure how we would react; but I pray to God, I wouldn’t leave my child behind. Now he has to live with the shame of running out on a poor helpless child.”
“This guy has no love for his own child. My first instinct would have been to turn around looking for my kid after seeing this, scoop him up and run. The ‘waste of time’ simply looked after himself,” Anonymous wrote.
Another person said: “The worst part of the story is where a terrified customer run away leaving a hopeless little child behind…..what a coward! I certainly was not leaving without my child.”
However, Human Rights Advocate, Felicia Browne, says while she does not support the man’s action, she said the situation was “unfortunate”.
“It is unfortunate that the parent and child were placed in such a traumatic situation,” Browne told St. Lucia News Online. “However, we should not be too harsh on the parent as during times of dangerous situations we never know how the mind or body would respond. Some persons may faint, others may defend and try to protect the innocent child. But gun violence is never an easy experience for anyone including a young child.”
Browne said the focus should not be removed from the fact that the criminals felt comfortable to attack a business place with an innocent child.
“Have you ever experienced guns or a gun pointing at you,” she asked. “I did not support what he did but like I said, we do not know why he did that.”
She further explained that “fear can make anyone respond differently to what he or she knows better”.
“It is unfortunate,” she emphasised. “Every parent must protect the child but with guns and fear, who knows what mental condition the parent was under.”
The bandits, one armed with a gun and the other with a knife, took less than 200 dollars in cash and beverages, but did not harm the chef and cashier. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.
Videos of the robbery, captured on security cameras, have gone viral.
A suspect is currently in police custody.