By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Staff Reporter
CONCERNED residents of a Grand Bahama community complained to the island’s new top police officer about a man who roams naked, rummaging through their garbage bins.
Shirley Martin told Assistant Commissioner of Police B K Bonamy that this has been happening in her neighbourhood for the past four years.
During an FNM Grand Bahama Women Association meeting, the woman said past efforts to catch the vagrant have failed.
She said the young man visits the South Bahamia area around 6am or between 10am and 11am. She said residents have reported the man to police.
“We have a young man who runs around naked; we have been going through this now for the past four years, and we do not know what to do,” she said.
“We could never catch him, and officers try to chase him, but he is faster than a monkey. It is serious," she stated. “My neighbour just moved through the corner with three kids, and she is afraid because he is naked.”
The vagrant is barefooted and is sometimes seen wearing just a plastic bag or a sheet and turning over garbage bins, searching for food.
He goes from one garbage bin to the next, takes the bags, and runs off into the bushes. He does not accept food from anyone.
When a neighbour tried giving him a plate of food, he ran off. “The neighbour left the food on her porch, and he returned and took the plate of food and put it in the garbage, then took it out and left with it,” she said. “The man may be mentally ill. We know something is really wrong with him,” Ms Martin said.
She said the vagrant takes all the trash bags to an unoccupied duplex property, where he empties them in the yard.
“He spread everything out; it is very annoying. Every three to four months, Bahamia Services (the maintenance company) has to come there with their dumpster to collect the garbage,” she said.
The concerned resident said they tried locating his relatives, but were unsuccessful.
ACP Bonamy said he would try to address that problem.
He said he is concerned about the growing vagrant situation in Grand Bahama.
“I noticed we have vagrants. It is a form of mental illness that I am concerned about,” he said.
“I am in communication with the hospital about how to address it,” said the ACP.
Mr Bonamy said that doctors at the Rand Memorial Hospital must first determine whether a vagrant should be sent to the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.
He encouraged family members and relatives of such people to get help for them.
“We would not want them to get injured or for them to get knocked down or anyone harm them,” he said.