Shelter denies elderly man's abuse claims
After being homeless for little more than a year, 70-year-old Beswick Deans says he is being forcefully removed from a shelter in downtown Kingston.
Deans said he is imploring the relevant authorities to relocate him to another shelter after he was allegedly kicked out, a claim the Marie Atkins Night Shelter on Hanover Street refutes.
"I am a sick individual. I have glaucoma and cataract in both my eyes, and I can't see out of one. Me trouble with colon and prostate cancer plus arthritis. Me weak and me sick, so me don't know how and why dis man see me fit fi beat me up," he said.
He claimed that the incident occurred on the weekend as he joined the line to collect his meal.
However, when THE STAR contacted the Marie Atkins Shelter, Inspector of the Poor Mavis Farquharson refuted Deans' claim.
She denied having knowledge of Deans staying at the shelter, even though she did not check her records to see if he was registered there. She also said that the incident, as reported by Deans, did not take place there.
"I definitely did not give any order to throw anyone stuff out, and I would never have done that. Some of these people are very rude, so sometimes the security will have to step in, but they don't get physical with any of them," she said.
But according to Deans, he was assaulted by a guard as he sought to get food.
"Me nuh know if him did intoxicated or wah, or if him a thousand years a problem on him head, but once me join di line fi food, him start take set pon me. Him always a tell me say me fi move from out the line and go join a table and me always walk away," he said.
"Well, Saturday now me join the back a di line and the security was standing in front a me. When him look back a him and see mi, him say, 'Move from back a me bwoy".
Deans said he then explained to the guard that he was instructed to join the line, and asked why he was always verbally attacking him.
"Me say to him say it look like him nuh want me fi get no food. Then me spin round fi lef and him grab me by me shirt, walk some lick pon me so till me drop a grung. So me start cuss and tell him some bad word," he said.
He stated that after the beating he left the compound and went to the park.
"Likkle after me reach the park, me see a man a run come like him a run from Usain Bolt. Him tell me say dem dash out me clothes dem and the head say me nuh fi go back pon di compound," he said.
"Me really just wah find a home to go until me can get back on me feet. Me never always inna dem situation yah, enuh, cause me did have me house. A burn it burn down why me inna dem situation where people can take step a me," he added.