By L.K. Hewlett
St. Kitts Reporter
“Whether a soldier is on active duty, on Liberty, off duty, on vacation or whatever, they do not shy away from their foremost goal to protect the people of this federation,” said senior Defense force official Major Leroy Percival.
He explained that although it was an off duty soldier responsible for apprehension of the lone suspect of Monday’s daylight robbery, the act itself was not new to the agency.
A soldier related the details of a slightly similar event last Friday, where although he was not on duty at the time, he did not turn a blind eye to crime.
“I was walking across the Bay Road headed in the direction of Rams supermarket. While I was passing the spot where those guys sell DVDs, I saw some people there checking out the selection. This one fellow was kinda leaning over near to a tourist couple. At first I thought he was interested in the DVDs too but then I saw him quickly shove his hand into the male tourist’s pocket. I immediately ran over and grabbed him,” Lance corporal Thomas said.
Major Percival recounted another recent incident where an off duty soldier jumped into action when he realized that a crime may have been in progress.
“Corporal Mulraine was on his way home and deliberately walked in the vicinity of the Children’s Home. They had been reporting break-ins and having trouble with some bad boys so he was just passing that way to ensure that everything was okay. When he reached the building, he noticed a person standing on an object peeping into a window at the facility. He snuck up on the person and was able to nab the male and keep him there until the police arrived,” Percival said.
He noted these examples are not isolated occurrences as soldiers are trained to always be alert, on or off duty. He noted that the agency often assists the police on certain types of missions and are responsible for the overall safety and security of the country.
This, he said, is a duty soldiers do not take lightly as they endeavour to do whatever they can to maintain law, order and stability in St. Kitts and Nevis