Monday, June 25, 2007

Peace Corps Volunteer Stabbed in St. Vincent on Tuesday

This story is from one of my fellow EC 76ers. I post this to let people know that
you have to be careful.

On June 19, 2007 Paul was walking back from Petit Bordel Secondary School at
approximately 2:30pm after grading papers. As he walked up the hill towards
Chateaubelair, he noticed an altercation taking place between one of his
former Form 5 female students and an unknown male. As they walked down the
hill towards Paul, the altercation grew more heated, and Paul hurried up the
hill and stepped between the two individuals, telling them to calm down (or
in his words, "Breeze!"). He couldn't quite determine what the disagreement
was about, but to him, it sounded like the male was accusing the female of
witholding something of his (a shirt, he believed). The female was on her
way to graduation rehearsal and asked Paul to escort her the rest of the way
back down the hill. As he walked with her and several of her friends back
towards the school, the male grew agitated again asking about his shirt.
When the female replied that she would give it back to him tomorrow, he
became enraged and drew a knife. Paul immediately stepped back but continued
to hold up his forearm in an attempt to protect his former student, but the
suspect reached around Paul and grabbed a hold of the female in a very
aggressive manner. Because the events were unfolding so quickly, the rest of
the story is a bit blurred from Paul's perspective, but basically, the male
had wrestled the female to the ground and had torn her shirt off, leaving
her bare breasts exposed. As he stood over her poised to strike with a
8-inch kitchen knife, Paul took action and engaged the male, eventually
tumbling down a large embankment. It was during this time that Paul was
stabbed, though whether or not it was an accident remains uncertain.
Eventually when they stopped tumbling, the male sprang to his feet
approximately 3-5 feet further down the embankment from Paul. Paul then
picked up an old bamboo stick and made a feeble attempt at self-defense;
fortunately, the suspect ran around him and back up the hill towards the
female (she had already fled). Paul then looked down and realized he had
been stabbed. The knife entered at the top of the left shoulder, in between
the shoulder blade and the shoulder bone itself, and the exit wound was
located where the pectoralis muscle meets the armpit, approximately six
inches from his heart. He flagged down a passing truck and was taken to the
Chateaubelair medical clinic where he was treated then later moved to the
Kingstown hospital. The next day Paul was transported to the hospital in
St.Lucia for additional treatment. Paul is now being transported to
Washington D.C. to meet with the medical team to determine if additional
treatment will be needed.

The Peace Corps has two mottoes: "The toughest job that you'll ever love"
and "Life is calling...How far will you go?" This volunteer discovered it
is the toughest job that he had ever loved and he also went far. Far past
the roles and responsibilities of a Peace Corps Volunteer to save the life
of an individual. Repeatedly, he attempted to diffuse the situation and
going far enough to escort her as protection. This young female was a
former student of his at the school and daughter of a community member in
Chateaubelair, where he served two and a half years. He totally embraced
his community and in turn, they embraced him. Paul gave 110% of his time,
energy and talents with an open mind to this community being known as
"Mr.Chateaubelair". It would not be known what would have happened if Paul
did not intervene or was not present at this altercation, but the fact of
the matter is that he saved someone's life. We, the volunteers, believe
that Paul's story should be told and recognized. His actions should be
recognized by the United States Peace Corps and the Government of St.Vincent
and the Grenadines. In addition, the residents of Indianapolis,IN. (Paul's
hometown) should be aware of the actions of their "hometown hero". This
"model" Peace Corps Volunteer will definitely be recognized by the
volunteers serving on the island of St.Vincent. Peace Corps should be proud
of him because collectively the volunteers of EC Groups 74-76 are honored to
have worked with this noble volunteer.


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