Sunday 15 September, 2019

American music producer not giving up on T&T after assault and robbery

American producer Phil Taylor was robbed and threatened with death after Machel Monday.

American producer Phil Taylor was robbed and threatened with death after Machel Monday.

An American musician is planning to launch a campaign to install close circuit cameras at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and venues where live events are held across Trinidad and Tobago.

This, after he was assaulted and robbed in a taxi after he left the Machel Monday concert in the early hours of February 6.

Phil Taylor, who has been living in Trinidad and Tobago for two years working on a reality show, Trini 2 the World, which highlights musical talent from this country, said the bandits were passengers in the taxi. The men, along with the taxi driver, assaulted him, took all his valuables and threatened to kill him.

He escaped by jumping out of the moving car.

The incident took place in Diego Martin.

Speaking to Loop from New York where he has since returned to replace his ID card and Driver’s Permit which were stolen in the robbery, Taylor said when he was leaving the Machel Monday show, he realised his phone was dead and, unable to call an Uber, he walked out to the Maraval Parkway and tried unsuccessfully to get a taxi. He said he eventually asked a group of police officers next to him for assistance and one of them hailed a Nissan Tiida, opened the door and put him in the car.

“The police officer put me in the car so I trusted the process,” he said, unable to say if the car was a legitimate taxi or a ‘PH’ car.

There were two other passengers in the taxi, one in the back and one in the front. I asked the driver if he could drop me to Four Roads and he said he was going east but if I pay extra he will take me,” said Taylor.

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He said along the way he asked the driver to stop at a gas station so he could get something to drink but the driver passed it straight and upon reaching Diego Martin started driving around. Taylor said they passed the Four Roads Police Station twice and while heading back to the highway, the front seat passenger turned around and punched him in the face.

The passenger next to him whipped out a gun, a Smith and Wesson .45 pistol and ordered him to empty his pockets.

“I gave them everything - phone, keys, wallet, and as they were getting ready to go back on the highway and I elbowed the door really hard and I rolled out the car.”

Taylor said he didn’t report the incident right away as he was too shaken up. Instead, he walked back to his apartment two blocks away and packed his things to move out.

“I woke up the next morning in shock and I terminated the lease on my place ‘cause I gave them my address to drop me so they knew where I lived. I went to police and gave them the story. They asked if I wanted to do a police line up to identify them and I said I am leaving tomorrow.”

“I asked if there were security cameras by the stadium or the station because they drove by there twice and they told me no.  The more I started thinking about it I thought how there are no security cameras outside the stadium or police station, that makes no sense.”

He said the following day as he was preparing to leave, former Government Senator Ndale Young met him and asked what he could do to help.

“He’s been showing interest in the show. I told him if he could come on board and help with the intricacies of the show because we invested a lot and we need someone on the Trinidad and Tobago side to help massage the bumps in the road.”

He said Young also agreed to help champion his idea to install cameras as major tourist events, and mas routes for Carnival 2019.

“I don’t know who is funding that but he agreed to help champion that idea to help protect the community and tourists and people who want to invest in the community,” said Taylor.

Stating that he is not going to throw away his investment, Taylor, a musician/producer of Nashville based record label Taylor Mayd Musik, said he plans to return to T&T.

“It hasn’t turned me off, it could happen anywhere but what really affected me was that there weren’t proper cameras at the stadium or police station, anyone could have come backstage and killed every artists and we wouldn’t know who did it,” said Taylor.

“Security is not something we take seriously. We need to fight the criminal element more aggressively, you can’t be passive towards that level of criminal activity; something has to be done,” he said.

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