The Star (Jamaica)

Cop continues to care for child taken from abusive home

- SIMONE MORGANLIND­O STAR Writer

Gleeful shouts of ‘Auntie Lotoya’ greet Constable Lotoya Garriques each time she visits or video calls three-year-old Andre*.

The policewoma­n, who recently donated back-to-school supplies to Andre and one other child from the Clark’s Town area in Trelawny where she is stationed, rescued the youngster who was viciously beaten by his father. The items were provided by the Jamaica Constabula­ry Force’s Centre for the Investigat­ion of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.

Garriques told THE STAR that Andre’s father was convicted of the crime and sentenced. The infant currently lives with one of his family members and is extremely happy.

“I talk to him every single day on video call and everytime he would be like, ‘Auntie Latoya, wah gwan’. We send voice notes and everything. He is really nice and very, very happy. He is very loving and likes to socialise” she said.

DISTRESS CALL

Garriques said when she and her team got the distress call last August and went to the premises where Andre was, his physical appearance was far more heartbreak­ing than what they expected.

“He was in a bad state. It was heartbreak­ing. He had a bloody kerchief wrapped around his head and his eyes were badly swollen. His entire body had bruises and scars that showed that it wasn’t just a one-day incident or a one-off thing,” she told THE STAR in an earlier interview.

Throughout and after his stay at the Falmouth Hospital, Garriques remained in close contact with the youngster, and even used her personal funds to provide for him. She stresed that he is no longer a scared and broken little boy.

“He is a far cry from the baby that I had met last year. His eyes are no longer sad and he is just talkative and happy. He started school a few days ago and as we speak, I am here looking a few things for his schooling. I love this little baby,” she said.

Garriques said she will continue to take a personal interest in Andre, while adding that she pledges to assist other children whenever possible.

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D ?? Constable Lotoya Garriques
CONTRIBUTE­D Constable Lotoya Garriques

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