First robbery with tear gas

2010-10-07 00:00

A COUPLE in Eastwood’s Cinderella Park had a rude awakening via a rare modus operandi by unknown men whose aim was to rape and rob them in the early hours of yesterday morning.

According to the police, a 28-year-old woman and her 31-year-old boyfriend were asleep in their room when she was awoken by a knock on the door followed by a strong stench in the room, believed to be emissions from a teargas spray.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said: “[The] boyfriend immediately opened the door to let air in when they were confronted by two unknown men. It is alleged that one of the men was armed with a handgun and the other with a knife.”

She said, at gunpoint, the men demanded cash and then took their cellphones which were on a cupboard near the door.

“It is believed that the men had sprayed teargas into the room through the wooden cracks and demanded that they open the door and also threatened that they would shoot.

“They [victims] complied and upon opening the door one of the men pulled the woman out of the room and told her that she was his girlfriend. The men thereafter took her to a room across the road where she was made to lie on only a base of a bed,” said Jeevan.

She was then raped without a condom by one of the men, whilst the other man stood guard, according to Jeevan.

The suspects allegedly took the victim to a nearby river and forced her to bath.

“She then ran home and subsequently reported the matter at the [Mountain Rise] police station. She was taken to hospital where she is currently receiving medical attention,” said Jeevan.

Jeevan said this is the first time she has heard of a robbery of this nature. “We are appealing to members of the community to be aware of this so that they can take precautionary measures,” she said.

Brigadier Clifford Marion, SAPF head of the investigating unit in Pietermaritzburg said: “The retailers who are selling teargas to the members of the public are doing it in contravention of the law, however, they are allowed to sell pepper sprays as defence mechanism to the public.”

He said if any retailer is found to be selling teargas to the public it should be reported to the nearest police station.

“We should just prevent the acquiring of teargas by the members of the public because it should only be sold to law enforcement official,” said Marion.

Jeevan said no arrests have been made yet and police are still investigation.

Police are making an appeal to anyone with information that will assist in their investigation to contact the Mountain Rise detective commander — Colonel Chris Wiles at 033 387 9622 or at 079 500 1306.

Persons wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stop on the toll free number 08600 10111.

According to Wikipedia both teargas and pepper spray are skin irritants, causing burning pain and excess drainage from eyes, nose, mouth and breathing passages. Discomfort from teargas usually disappears after 5-30 minutes, while the worst pepper spray discomfort may take 20 minutes to 2 hours to subside.

When teargased on pepper sprayed, stay calm because panicking increases the irritation. Breathe slowly and remember it is only temporary.

Blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough and spit. Try not to swallow.

If you wear contacts, you must remove the lenses or get someone to remove them for you, with clean, uncontaminated fingers. Destroy the lenses after exposure, they are not cleanable. Do not rub it in.


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