(TT GUARDIAN) – What started off as a fender bender turned into a fatal attack after a mechanic was beaten and stabbed to death by a group of Spanish-speaking men shortly after midnight yesterday.
Colin Forbes, 42, a father of four of Indian Walk, Moruga, died at around 1.30 am at the San Fernando General Hospital.
According to police, around 12.10 am, Forbes was reversing his car from the compound of the Big Ben Bar at Penal Rock Road when it came into contact with a red vehicle. This led to an argument between him and a group of Spanish-speaking men who then began throwing glass bottles at him. Police said the group of men then stabbed Forbes several times and escaped in the red car.
Saddened over his death, Stanley Nabby, who lives a few houses away from Forbes, said he (Forbes) worked in his son’s garage.
He explained that Forbes had gone with a friend to check a car and when they were returning home, Forbes met another friend and they decided to stop at the bar for drinks.
Forbes left them and returned to the car.
“I understand that the car he was driving—the Lancer—it rolled back and touched some Venezuelan residents’ car. They took the keys from him. They beat him.”
But, when Forbes called the police, the suspects became more enraged.
“That escalated the whole thing. They started to beat him more. He ran away from them and they continued to beat him and stab him.”
Nabby was told that Forbes even offered to fix the suspects’ car.
“If it had been Trinidadians that did that, it would not be right… But these Venezuelan nationals, they took advantage of the whole situation. The guy who was with him (Forbes) said that he (Forbes) told them that he would fix their car because he works in a garage. All they had to do was bring the car around. But they took his stuff and beat him.”
Nabby said he remains distressed and hurt over Forbes’ death.
He said Forbes had a criminal past but almost four years ago, turned his life around.
“He said that he did not want to continue that life of crime. He would come here early on mornings and do what he has to do. He made the effort. He was on bail and he was trying to keep away from crime,” said Nabby, a former school principal.
Nabby said Forbes will be missed by the community, as he often spoke to youths in the area about turning away from crime. Forbes had obtained certificates in cabinet making and auto mechanics while he was remanded at the prison.
Concerned over the crime situation, Nabby said it is causing complete mayhem and urged the authorities to not only be reactive, but proactive.
In times of conflict, he had this message for people was, “Walk away and leave it alone. It is not safe to go out. It is not safe to go out in bars and so on. Just leave it. You will get back what you lose.”
Meanwhile, Forbes’ sister-in-law, La Toya, said he was unarmed and would not have escalated the situation.
“He had no knife, stick, nothing. He had in his hands a key, cell phone and driver’s permit. They were taken by the assailants. I am not sure why they were taken. That is quite confusing. They got back the phone and the keys. But we were not able to get back his driver’s permit.”
La Toya said Forbes was helpful and did not hold a grudge against anyone. He had three children, ages 14, 10 and 8, as well as a stepdaughter, aged 11.
Lamenting that the family is still in shock, she was not confident that they would get justice.
She added that Forbes will be missed by his children, nieces and nephews even more during the coming Christmas season, as he usually took them to Christmas events.
Officers from the Penal Police Station and the Homicide Bureau of Investigations visited the scene.
Last week, Pleasantville father of four Jamie Walker was shot dead by an off-duty police officer during an argument over a parking spot at Cocoyea Village, San Fernando.