Despite social media publications, no one has been arrested for the robbery of Roman Catholic Priest, Father Clyde Harvey, on Monday morning at the St Martin de Porres RC Church, Gonzales.
Two of the men hid most of their faces with bandanas and wore caps, but their evil eyes were noticeable. The third intruder had his entire head and face covered.
So what was the real story with this robbery? The men took $1,000 and Harvey’s cell phone. One of the men used Harvey’s phone to call the third man – the boss man.
This is the same Harvey who led an anti-crime march at the Parliament building when Kamla Persad-Bissessar was Prime Minister in 2013. This was the same Harvey who offered prayers at a Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving on September 24th after Dr Keith Rowley became Prime Minister in 2015.
On Tuesday, Harvey spoke to the media about his ordeal and his brush with death. He said two of three men were sent to kidnap and murder him.
Instead of carrying out the job, they called their boss who showed up at the church and he too did not possess the courage to go through with his plan.
Harvey said despite this, he wished to meet with the men to find out who put them up to it and why.
He said the initial two bandits who tied him up, robbed and threatened to kill him were “stupid victims” he would want to meet and chat with to determine why they did what they did.
He said the labeling of the culprits as evil was “short-sighted and stupid,” adding that the real crime wasn’t what happened to him, as this happens to many of the citizens, but the motive behind it.
Harvey said he wants the court and legal system to run its course but does not believe the incarceration of the men will be the end of the matter, since they will just be going to school to get a secondary education in crime.
He recalled that at first, two men approached him, robbed and ransacked his home and after not getting the kind of money they expected, they said they were sent to kidnap and kill him.
Harvey said he jokingly asked if he was worth so little when they asked him if the Archdiocese was willing to pay $50,000 for his release. He said after they were convinced he had no money, they used his cellphone to contact a third man after telling Harvey if their cohort wanted the priest dead he would have to come do it himself.
Five minutes later, a third man arrived.
Harvey was forced to open a safe. “After I opened the safe and they saw the cheques, one of them said ‘All these cheques, you must have money, all yuh pastors have money, all yuh thiefing black people money’. When I heard him say pastor I thought they were after the pastor and not the priest but they don’t know the difference between the two.”
Harvey said the incident was traumatic but noted he had been in a situation where a gun was placed to his head before.
He added, “In a sense, I can’t blame them. Some have identified the men as two wicked young men. They are not wicked, these are victims of our society.
“They stupid and I hope they are listening to me at this point. They don’t know basic things, they didn’t know my name so I have questions about where they are from. They couldn’t tell the difference between a priest and a pastor and we have a generation like that. They are wild and money is their God. And we have to be aware is not only those two little boys that have money as their God.”
“It is not about forgiving. I don’t see them as guilty, I see them as misguided, very misguided. They must take responsibility for their actions, but I don’t think they have had anybody in their lives who has brought them through the process of taking responsibility for their lives.”
He continued, “I felt a deep sense of sadness when I saw the papers and saw Fr Harvey robbed. I know people who have been robbed and if there was four lines in the papers it was plenty. Don’t personalize it, because by the end of next week nothing will happen and I will be frustrated. At the end of the day two little boys have become the focus of national attention when they are victims.”
Harvey said he returned to the church compound and slept there Monday night. He added that when he returned there where residents were ready to hunt and capture the bandits, but he advised them to work with the police. The residents, he said, assured him no harm would come to the men if they were caught.