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JM | Nov 19, 2020

Viral image casts doubt on teen’s attack as ‘suspect’ clears her name

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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17-year-old Kaylan Dowdie is still being treated at the University Hospital of the West Indies after being beaten by a group of women at a late-night party in St Andrew’s Barbican area on Saturday (November 7).

As the country seeks answers into the brutal assault of 17-year-old Kaylan Dowdie, one woman—Ann Marie Mullings, who was among a collage of six females suspected of the attack in a viral social media photo—swears she did no wrong.

Mullings, who came forward to help with the police investigation and clear her name in the media, said she had never seen Kaylan before and would never hurt a child being a mother of three.

Mullings further argued she had given birth just two days before the illegal party was held in Barbican and didn’t set foot in the event.

“I am the one that they accused innocently. I have a baby weh jus born on the 5th of November…and dem judge me wrongfully. Put up mi picture seh mi beat people pickney and I don’t even know the girl. I never ever see di likkle girl yet,” she said.

It is unclear when the photo of the six suspected women began circulating, however, images went viral on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter last weekend.

Images of Kaylan Dowdie on battling for life also made the rounds on social media as Jamaicans showered sympathies and well-wishes on the young teen.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay of the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) stressed the dangers of unconfirmed information in the public domain.

In an interview with Our Today on Thursday (November 19), SSP Lindsay said as the police investigation continues, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) wouldn’t concern itself with the viral photo as it did not release the image.

“We didn’t release those [images]. I don’t know if there was any reason to clear her because the police never really named her as a person of interest. So we wouldn’t have to clear her,” SSP Lindsay said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay of the Corporate Communications Unit.

“We see from time-to-time, people keep posting things on social media so you have to be mindful because it can land you into trouble,” she added.

“In this particular case, we didn’t put out any information; what we encouraged people to do was if you have information that can support an investigation then you should share the information with us—don’t share it like that, share it with the police,” the senior cop told Our Today.

The sentiments were also shared by CCU Inspector Shaunjay Mitchell on Monday (November 16).

Mitchell via his Twitter account said “It’s understandable that people are upset about the attack on the 17-year-old girl recently, but it’s really irresponsible circulating images of persons who you ‘believe’ are the suspects. Now, as it turns out one of the women in the photo collage wasn’t even at the event.”

“Always allow the police to deal with these issues, instead of taking matters into your own hands. We have to be more responsible and not be consumed by our anger and in-process jeopardize another person’s life, safety and character,” Mitchell tweeted.

Dowdie was reportedly ambushed and attacked by six women at a party illegally held on Boysie Lane off Barbican Road on November 7. The teen, who was there with her friend, was hit it the head with a Hennessy bottle and stomped repeatedly.

Dowdie, a past student of Papine High, has just began her studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

At least two suspects have turned themselves in to the Constant Spring Police on Wednesday. Both women were accompanied by attorney Peter Champagnie.

Today the JCF confirmed that five women had been charged with wounding with intent and unlawful wounding in connection with the vicious assault.

So charged are 28-year-old Shakeema McLead, 33-year-old Nadine Aldridge, 45-year-old Yoland Vassell, 22-year-old Timone Williams and 26-year-old Casiann Lewis—all of Barbican Road addresses in Kingston 8.

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