Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2020. 5:49 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, told us this afternoon that he had no comment on a reported attempted arson that went under the radar this past weekend.
The reason for that may be that it is a very “ticklish” situation involving the Ahmad family, whose brother Fareed was murdered nearly four years ago this month, and who is the subject of a murder trial set to conclude tomorrow, Friday, in the Supreme Court.
But it did happen, confirmed the alleged target, Abdul Ahmad, owner of Terminal Deck Restaurant at the corner of King Street and Amara Avenue, in a telephone interview with us shortly before we spoke to the Commissioner and he believes it was deliberate.
The facts are these as confirmed by Ahmad: around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 12, an unknown man walked up to the garbage can outside the restaurant and appeared to rummage through it, looking for something to set alight. He took out a match and set the fire then walked off.
Shortly thereafter, a police patrol came upon the scene and put the fire out, kicking away the can from the restaurant and minimizing potential damage. However, the Eastern Division South Strike Team, which was in the area and caught up with the culprit almost immediately, failed to arrest him for at the very least being caught during curfew hours or for not wearing a mask.
We have seen videos of the man, whom Ahmad does not know of but believes to be from “the other side of town,” appearing to dance for the Strike Team officers. The videos were posted to one officer’s TikTok account.
Ahmad says a formal report, complete with evidence, has been made to Police, but it was not publicly announced and the Commissioner would not even discuss details with us.
The obvious inference would be that any deliberate attack on another member of the Ahmad family coinciding with the murder trial would cast yet further speculations against police, who are revealed to have had almost immediate contact with the arsonist.
Abdul Ahmad says he has been told by sources that it is possible certain “enemies” in the Department may be behind the events of December 12, but it cannot be proven. And he added that it was not the first time he and his family had been targeted by Police, recalling an incident only a week after Fareed’s murder when he and a relative were followed on Freetown Road and officers took a photo of his license plate when they pulled into a gas station there.
The incident was caught not only on police’s surveillance cameras set up right across from the restaurant but on its own cameras.
Curiously, Ahmad, who maintains a residence above the restaurant, says he chose to go home Friday night before curfew began, when every other day he stays at the restaurant. On the day he chose to go home, the would-be arsonist struck.
He can only conclude, he told us, that someone deliberately wanted him to die, or at the very least, to lose significant business.
Police investigations presumably continue.
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