Trini charged in Orlando …”SUICIDE WATCH”

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Prison authorities in Orlando, Florida, have placed Trinidadian Nishal Sankat on a suicide watch.

But Sankat’s at­tor­ney is urg­ing the prison authorities to move his client from prison to an­oth­er fa­cil­i­ty un­der a pri­vate physi­cian’s care amid fears over his men­tal state.

Sankat, 22, who is the son of for­mer UWI St Au­gus­tine prin­ci­pal, Clement Sankat, is re­port­ed­ly un­der sui­cide watch at the Bre­vard Coun­ty Jail, ac­cord­ing to his at­tor­ney Greg Eisen­menger. The lawyer has told US au­thor­i­ties that con­di­tions at the prison are tak­ing a fur­ther toll on Sankat’s men­tal health.

Sankat is ac­cused of at­tempt­ing to steal an Amer­i­can Air­lines Air­bus from a main­te­nance hangar at the Or­lan­do Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port on Sep­tem­ber 20.

It is al­leged that Sankat jumped a fence at the air­port and twice had to be sub­dued by work­ers af­ter al­leged­ly at­tempt­ing to en­ter the cock­pit of a plane.

On Mon­day, Sankat’s fam­i­ly hired Bre­vard Coun­ty at­tor­ney Eisen­menger, who has sev­er­al high pro­file mat­ters, for the case. Eisen­menger has in­di­cat­ed that the mat­ter has a “men­tal health com­po­nent. It is be­lieved the 22-year-old was home­sick and de­pressed.”

“I think we all recog­nise this went be­yond a col­lege stu­dent be­ing home­sick and try­ing to go home,” Eisen­menger said to US me­dia.

How­ev­er, Eisen­menger said Sankat’s mo­tive re­mains un­clear. But the at­tor­ney for the stu­dent pi­lot, ac­cord­ing to re­ports out of Flori­da, claimed his client nev­er in­tend­ed to steal the Amer­i­can Air­lines air­bus.

Eisen­menger was told by the fam­i­ly and some friends that they nev­er ex­pect­ed this from Sankat.

Sankat ap­peared in court last Fri­day when FBI agents David Joseph Hack­er and Christo­pher Castielo gave tes­ti­monies. Hack­er said Sankat al­leged­ly in­tend­ed to harm him­self dur­ing his at­tempt to en­ter the plane and had no re­gard if he harmed oth­ers.

Sankat wore a gown geared to pre­vent him from self-harm dur­ing the hear­ing.

Sankat was grant­ed a bond on the first two charges but not on the charge of grand theft.

Dur­ing that hear­ing, which was of­fi­ci­at­ed by Trinidad born Judge Rhon­da E Babb, the pros­e­cu­tion ob­ject­ed to a US$22,500 bond on the ba­sis that Sankat is a dual cit­i­zen of Trinidad and To­ba­go and Cana­da and al­so on the ba­sis that he was deemed a threat to the com­mu­ni­ty.

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NISHAL SANKAT

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