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Boom Fight Leaves Coast Guard Officer Unconscious, Partially Paralyzed

Jul 3, 2023

Boom Fight Leaves Coast Guard Officer Unconscious, Partially Paralyzed

Daniel Sabido

An altercation at the Elton Gillett Park in Burrell Boom last Friday night has left a Coast Guard officer unconscious and partially paralyzed and several persons in police detention. The story has two main versions, one that accuses the Coast Guard Officer, Daniel Sabido of being the attacker, and another that has him as a peacemaker who tried to part a fight when he came under attack and was struck in the head with a glass bottle. The incident happened during an event that was being held at the park and we have the Chairman of the village, as well as the Coast Guard, the police, and a relative of Sabido, giving their respective positions on the matter. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

There are at least two sides to an incident that has left Coast Guard officer, Daniel Sabido with a fractured skull and partially paralyzed. On Friday night, Sabido was at an event at the Elton Gillett Park in the village when a fight broke out involving him and others.

Elton Bennett

Rear Admiral Elton Bennett, Commander, Belize Coast Guard

“He was in an altercation with other members of the village and he got into a fight and was, was hitting the head. He was unconscious. He was taken to K.H.M.H and he went underwent surgery. I spoke to him just before he went into surgery. I was out of the country, so we did a video chat. He was able to recognize who I was. He was able to speak a little bit; a portion of his body, his left side of his body was, was paralyzed before surgery. We understand now that he came out of surgery and that he’s recovering very quick.”

What led to the incident that has left Sabido seriously wounded is unclear, except that there was a big fight and that he was in it. One story puts the blame squarely on him, while another says he was the peacemaker who came under attack. Whatever the real story is, Assistant Commissioner of Police Hilberto Romero says they will know when the investigation is complete.

Hilberto Romero

A.C.P., Hilberto Romero, Commander, Eastern Division

“Information is that Daniel Sabido was at the park at Burrell Boom when there was a fight in the area, and as a result, he received injuries to the head; someone hit him in the head with a baseball bat and a pint bottle. We have several persons in custody and an investigation is being carried out to determine what charges will be levied on these persons. This is based on interviews and witness statements that have been recorded. The victim is in a stable condition at the KHMH, and as soon as this investigation is complete, then the charges will be levied.”

As for the safety of Burrell Boom residents, Chairman Anselm Gillett met with Commissioner of Police Chester Williams today and he told us afterwards that he has made a few requests to deter any retaliation, particularly because there was a previous incident just a few weeks earlier.

Anselm Gillett

Anselm Gillett, Chairman, Burrell Boom Village

“Two weeks before there was an incident out there. Basically, the same players were involved, but this second time, another crowd came out and they waited until the police dispersed, and then they made their attack on to whoever they wanted to attack, noh. We have requested certain assistance from the commissioner. The police have been very good with us in Burrell Boom in terms of response time and stuff like that, so we have a good relationship with the police. We just need for them to look into other matters concerning this scenario.”

Marion Ali

“Can you say what specific requests you’ve made as the chairman of the village?”

Anselm Gillett

“Well, Burrell Boom is growing. There’s another community attached along with Fresh Pond, more patrols in the village dealing with the loitering, dealing with the drinking in public, stuff like that, noh, things that we see stem to other issues. So basically (we’re) just asking a little bit more power within Burrell Boom because it’s getting bigger.”

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I assured him – because they were planning to stop the tournament – and I said to him don’t stop the tournament. If you stop the tournament then you are giving in to the criminals. We want the tournament to continue because the tournament is geared at capturing or providing an outlet for those young people within the area who want to find something positive to do, so we cannot allow that to stop for the likes of any criminal who wants to achieve certain things. We are going to make sure that we provide the necessary security to make sure the tournament continues. Likewise, I have also said to them that the police will do what needs to be done to investigate the matter properly.”

While Sabido recovers, and the police investigate the incident, Rear Admiral Elton Bennett, Commander of the Belize Coast Guard, says all they are looking forward to is for the return of their very capable training instructor and boatswain.

Elton Bennett

“He’s our chief boatswain mate that looks after the, the vessels in terms of keeping them safe, safe and, um, seaworthy, s somebody that we look forward to, um, getting him recovered and back on duty.”

Sabido’s family declined comment. Marion Ali for News Five.