MONROVIA – Sherman Cooper, an alleged kidnap victim who narrowly escaped his captors, spoke from his hospital bed, recounting the harrowing incident that left him with wounds on his backside, neck, and private parts. Cooper explained how a failed kidnap attempt unfolded.
By Mae Azango ([email protected])
Cooper and his friend, identified only as Marcus, had chased down individuals they believed had stolen a motorbike. However, they were mistakenly accused of being criminals by community members who intercepted them. The alleged kidnappers offered to take Cooper and Marcus to the Zone Eight police depot, claiming they would later transport the injured motorbike rider to the hospital.
“The Pathfinder jeep initially placed the injured man from the bike we were chasing into their vehicle. Later, the driver returned for us and told the community members that they were taking us to Zone Eight police depot and would then attend to the injured man,” Cooper recounted. “They placed us in the back seat, unaware that three men were hiding in the trunk. As the car started moving, I realized that Zone Eight depot was not in the direction they were headed. When they veered onto Rehab Road and accelerated, I asked the driver where they were taking us. He responded by telling me to shut up. At that moment, my instincts told me that they intended to harm us,” Cooper said [modified from the Liberian colloquial English].
Cooper went on to describe how the driver began rolling up the windows and turned up the music volume. In response, he and Marcus attempted to fight their way out of the car. However, the men in the backseat began stabbing them. Cooper noticed that the rear window was partially open and managed to squeeze himself through it, jumping out of the moving vehicle while it was traveling at high speed. “My friend Marcus tried to follow, but something terrible happened to him, and he fell backward. Since then, I haven’t heard from Marcus, so I don’t know if he’s alive or not,” said Cooper.
Cooper’s mother, Maria, was unavailable by mobile phone. However, former Information Minister Dr. Laurence Bropleh confirmed in a telephone conversation with FrontPage Africa that Marcus was his mechanic and was like a son to him. Bropleh received a call from Zone Five police depot informing him that Marcus was at the depot and suffering from severe injuries. “They put him on the phone, and the voice on the other end sounded like Marcus. I explained that I was out of town campaigning and couldn’t come immediately but would contact a lawyer from my law firm to look into it,” Bropleh stated. Although Bropleh promised to call Marcus’s wife and inquire about his condition, he did not respond to subsequent phone calls for an update.
Cooper revealed that the individuals in the Pathfinder jeep made an attempt to return and apprehend him after he had jumped out of the car. Fortunately, another vehicle on GSA Road intercepted them, causing them to flee. “I informed the driver of the other car that my brother was in the jeep, and they were hurting him,” Cooper said. The ‘Good Samaritan’ took him to Colony Hotel [old Palm Springs] and called the police from Zone Three Depot. He even arranged for a car to transport Cooper to JFK Hospital. Since being taken to the hospital by the police, Cooper has had no further contact with them.
He vividly remembered the driver of the green Pathfinder jeep because of his distinct appearance. “I can still recall the driver’s striking appearance, as his hair was spray-painted gold,” Cooper remarked.
When contacted by phone, Liberian National Police spokesman Mr. Moses Carter explained that the police had not pursued the case because the individual who had rescued Cooper had promised to send video footage and other documents as evidence, but failed to do so.