Update 12:30 p.m. Friday: A 39-year-old West Bay man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of assault in connection with Tuesday’s gang attack on another man.
The attack happened Tuesday night near the EBO Laundromat on Birch Tree Hill Road, according to police. The 39-year-old is the second person arrested in connection with the beating, which was one of three gang-related incidents police have been investigating in West Bay district since Tuesday.
Initial story: Five arrests were made this week in connection with ongoing criminal activity around Grand Cayman as police responded to a flurry of what officers termed gang-related incidents on Tuesday in West Bay district.
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the brutal assault of a man on Birch Tree Hill Road on Tuesday night. The victim told police he had been set upon by six men after placing a food order at a local jerk stand.
The assault actually occurred at No. 38 Birch Tree Hill Road, not outside the jerk stand property itself, police clarified.
No arrests were reported as of press time Thursday as being directly in connection with either a double shooting outside Super C Restaurant on Tuesday night or a report of shots fired at a Birch Tree Hill Road home early Tuesday morning. Police said both of those incidents, as well as the assault, appeared to be “tit-for-tat” gang retaliations in the aftermath of last month’s killing of 24-year-old Justin Manderson.
A number of other police operations said to be related to the West Bay gang activities took place late Wednesday and early Thursday, as officers completed warrant-authorized searches at various locations around the island.
In one incident, armed police officers involved in a search at a Prospect-area home were “confronted by a belligerent man,” according to police reports. During that confrontation, police said the suspect released a “large, ferocious bulldog” on the attending officers.
“In order to ensure their safety and arrest the suspect, the threat was neutralized by one of the armed officers who discharged a single shot that fatally wounded the animal,” the RCIPS statement noted.
“The suspect [a 17-year-old male] who resisted arrest was taken into police custody without further incident after an imitation firearm was removed from his possession.”
In addition to the teenage suspect, a woman was taken into custody on suspicion of assaulting police during the confrontation.
That woman, 22, is also suspected of being involved in another gang-related assault, which had previously not been made public. This assault occurred Sunday, Oct. 30, near Seven Mile Public Beach and involved a young man who was beaten and threatened with a firearm, police said.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and firearms possession in connection with the Oct. 30 assault. A 25-year-old man was also arrested Wednesday in connection with the Oct. 30 assault and on suspicion of breaching his court bail conditions.
The fifth arrest of the operation involved a 24-year-old man for suspected ganja possession. No further details were given on his arrest.
Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis and Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton praised RCIPS officers for “extraordinary courage, judgement and professionalism” during the operations.
“The discharge of a firearm in any circumstances requires professionalism and judgement under stressful conditions. The way officers handled this incident is a demonstration of both,” Mr. Ennis said.
“We cannot and should not let a band of criminals compromise the safety and tranquility of our islands.”