Residents on Kipling Street in Bodden Town have been living in fear.
During the night they are being terrorized by people throwing large rocks and even breeze blocks on top of the roofs of their houses,
‘I am afraid to come out on the veranda in the night,’ says Betty Lou Tibbetts who has lived on the street for more than 30 years.
On Monday night last week rocks were thrown on top of her roof from 8pm to midnight and on Tuesday they carried on through the night to about 4am.
‘Nobody has been able to see or arrest anyone and rocks still continue, up until last night they are still pelting me with rocks,’ explained 69 year-old Ben McLaughlin. ‘They break my windshield and my sun roof on my car. They are getting terrible now.’
Children and the elderly have been struck by the rock throwers, car windscreens have been smashed and despite the fact that at least eight houses have been targeted, so far the police seem powerless to put a stop to it.
‘The police cars show up and they pelt the police officers and they pelt the cars, so that just shows you, they don’t care about the police department,’ he said.
Mrs. Tibbetts said that recently her 10-year-old grandson was hit by one of the rock throwers.
‘Someone threw a rock on the veranda and it hit him on his knees, he was crying and he is now too afraid to come out (of the house). Her other grandson Nick ‘has boarded up his windows because he is so afraid in the night, he’s afraid rocks are going to come inside his room.’
Ben McLaughlin has also been hit.
‘I’ve been injured twice; on my left leg I had a pulled muscle through it and my right shoulder they hit me with a rock, I had to go to the hospital for it.’ McLaughlin was not able to work because of his injury on Thursday.
‘My grandchildren are scared, the rocks are hitting the roof all through the night and sometimes they can’t sleep until three or four o’clock in the morning. They have to go to school and the lack of sleep is bothering them.’
A spokesperson for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Deborah Denis says it has increased patrols and is employing new strategies to identify and catch the culprits. They are also asking the besieged residents to refrain from taking matters into their own hands, but it appears for some, patience is running out.
‘The man fired, he has a permit for his gun and I think he fired because I heard three shots in the night,’ said Mrs. Tibbetts concerning the actions of one neighbour whose home was been targeted. Mr. McLaughlin also said he was ‘prepared to take extreme measures if one of his family members got hurt.’
No one seems to be sure who is throwing the rocks and what has provoked it but Ben McLaughlin’s house appears to be targeted more often than others and subsequently residents who assist the McLaughlin family seem to become targets as well.
‘We have no idea who is doing it and we would like to know if there is anything that I said to anyone or did to anyone and I don’t remember hurting anyone, I would like them to come forward and tell me, so we can solve it.’
Mrs. Tibbetts described the McLaughlin family as good citizens who have done nothing to hurt anyone.
Regarding the rock throwers she added ‘they are terrorizing the people on this road and when they move somewhere else they will do it again, because they are getting away with it. It needs to stop, we have had enough, Kipling street people have had enough and we want it to stop.’