Cops say...Wanted man not a serial rapist
The Portland police are appealing to the public not to take matters into their own hands after various social media posts have been circulating claiming that an HIV-positive man has been going around in the parish raping men, women and children.
Since Monday, posts accompanied by a picture have been surfacing, warning Portlanders to be careful of a man named Peter Swaby, who they claim has been robbing and raping people at gun and knifepoint in the parish. The latest post claimed the man has raped up to nine persons.
Superintendent Oberlin Smith Whyte, in charge of the Portland Police Division, said Swaby is indeed wanted for questioning in relation to robberies in the parish, however, she has no reports of him being involved in rape and cannot confirm his HIV status.
Whyte noted that she is deeply concerned about the heavy circulation of the posts because she does not want people to render vigilante justice to the man, or someone who looks like him.
"I have been getting so many calls about this incident. People have been calling around claiming they see him. They even called from Kingston saying they see him at X point," Whyte said.
She also added, "I'm begging the public not to take the law into their own hands. Call the police and let them deal with it."
The superintendent's concerns are rooted in the violent comments geared at the man.
"If mi ever see him [expletive], mi gang him and beat him and shoot him, and burn him to ashes, " said one commenter.
Another added, "That's how me know nuh real gangsta nuh live a Portland, cah if this man did ah gwaan suh inna garrison dem find this [expletive] inna gully , HEADLESS."
Additionally, the claims against the man has driven much fear into other persons.
"Gurl am so scared even though am in my house," said one woman.
Another said, "Me live way a Manchioneal and scared."
Whyte said she will be having discussions with other officers on how best to deal with the situation.