Man’s throat slashed after suspect rams his car
A West Bay man’s throat was slashed in a fight with the driver of another car that repeatedly rammed his vehicle in downtown George Town on Tuesday, numerous witnesses reported.
The Cayman Compass has learned the victim in the attack, Blake Barrell, 31, had just left the courthouse and was driving away in a Daihatsu when another vehicle – an older model Jeep Cherokee – came up behind and began ramming his car.
A Royal Cayman Islands Police Service press release stated that the victim’s injuries consisted of “life-threatening wounds to his neck.” The victim, later identified as Mr. Barrell, was taken to hospital where he was undergoing surgery at press time.
The two vehicles ended up veering off Fort Street into the lawn of the Admiral Financial Center. The ramming incident occurred during the busy lunch hour and dozens of people saw the scene from the street or viewed it from nearby office windows overlooking the area.
After the vehicles came to rest, one of the men got out and chased the other on foot around the back of the Admiral building. The two eventually re-emerged on Fort Street and headed back toward the courthouse.
Witnesses said the two ended up in a fight just outside the neighboring Appleby building on Fort Street and that one man slashed the other’s throat.
Meanwhile, a police officer who happened upon the scene at the time is reported to have held the suspect in custody until other officers arrived to assist.
Mr. Barrell’s attorney, Laurence Aiolfi, confirmed that his client had been in court Tuesday when one of the charges against him was withdrawn. A court schedule for Tuesday indicated Mr. Barrell faced firearms and drugs possession charges. The firearm charge was withdrawn.
It was not known at press time whether the suspect involved in the attack, a 38-year-old man, was also in court or had simply waited for Mr. Barrell outside of the courthouse. He had not been charged as of press time.
Police officers on the scene Tuesday indicated the ramming attack was no accident.
Mr. Barrell was initially charged with being an accessory after the fact to a 2014 killing in West Bay. Solomon Webster, 24, was killed in the September 2014 shooting, for which Jose Guadalupe Sanchez was charged with murder. Sanchez was cleared of the murder charge during a recent trial after a judge determined the Crown had not proved its case against him.
The initial charges alleged that Mr. Barrell, knowing or believing that Sanchez had murdered or unlawfully killed Mr. Webster, assisted Sanchez by providing him with a telephone handset and telephone calls, with intent to impede his apprehension or prosecution.
The accessory charges were later dropped against Mr. Barrell.