MAY PEN, Clarendon — A 22-year-old soldier whose romantic partner’s 14-year-old was brutally beaten by a mob of mostly females has condemned those who left the child with a limp, injuries to her head and body, as well as memory loss.
He also denies cheating on the child’s mother — an allegation that is said to have sparked the attack. But the child’s distraught and angry mother, Tandeka Simms, has refused to take his calls as she focuses on getting help and justice for her child.
Three female minors and three women have been taken into custody in connection with the beating meted out to the teenager on December 30.
The soldier, who asked not to be named in this article, said he knew the people who beat the child and labelled them as troublemakers who have been making his life hell. He said it all started when he tried to help a resident of the Havannah Heights community — a young woman who had a baby and ran away. He found her while on an operation and took her back to her home, he said.
“So I started to help with the baby, which is not mine. I tell my lady now say them people here a problem because they make problem with every woman who me ever talk to since that,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“I wasn’t in a relationship with any of them. The two big woman who beat up my stepdaughter are my friends. I have two friends who used to date them, so I know them by association. I also have an ex who has been posting my pictures on TikTok and she screenshot the pictures and that open another can of worms,” he added.
He said, on December 30, when he heard that the teenager had been beaten, he confronted the women and they gave him one version of events, but the video that later emerged showed a different story.
“I realise that they are telling me lies, pure lies dem a tell. I tell them say that’s foolishness. If you see two girls a go fight they should part them. As big women they have no right to go there and do the lady child like that. Dem a troublemakers, they just walk round and make trouble. Me and dem no inna nothing. Me no know what they have in them head till them start act out,” he bemoaned.
He said the attack on his partner’s child has left him distraught and he wants to be there to provide support for them both, but her mother refuses to take his calls.
“She block me on everything and if I call her on private number, by the time she realise say a me she get upset and hang up her phone,” he said.
Simms appears to have closed the door on their relationship.
“His co-workers reached out to me, but I don’t want to talk to him; him can even forget say him know me,” she said resolutely on Wednesday.
Her focus now is getting her 14-year-old healthy and minimising the psychological trauma the experience has caused her and her children. She said her 10-year-old daughter has been left scared by the attack on her sibling.
“Right now I don’t have no feeling for myself, me just a focus on my daughter and all the trauma that she is going through. She’s acting like she’s okay, but I know my daughter,” she said.
Simms is plagued by images of the vicious attack, plastered on social media in now-viral videos, that her child endured.
“When I see the part of the video when she’s on the floor and everybody is stepping on her that’s what keep on playing in my head. Every time I close my eyes to sleep that’s all I keep seeing. Also, when I went to the hospital she scream out and say, ‘Mommy, please don’t let me die!’ And even when she was on her way to the hospital she kept saying, ‘Unnu please no mek me dead’,” said the distressed mother.
Even though six individuals — three teenagers, two women in their 20s, and a 52-year-old — are now in custody, it has done little to ease her anguish.
“I don’t even know how to feel because nothing that happen will ever change [what the child endured] or take that out of my head,” Simms said.
She is particularly angry that those who beat her child appear to have no remorse. In one of the videos on social media, she said, some of them could be heard saying even if they were taken into custody they would be released on bail. It pains her, she said, to know that some of the women who mercilessly beat her child are themselves mothers.
“The unnecessary lies and the story they are pushing saying that my child was fighting over man; nothing like that. They are making it seem like what they did is right. Those big people don’t know wrong from right! In their case a pickney having pickney these days, so they grow them wrong and the cycle continues. There’s no way I could ever stand up and watch other people beating a child almost lifeless and not help them,” Simms raged.
She said she is hurt that none of the soldier’s relatives have reached out to her, but she is heartened by the support that has come from unexpected quarters.
“People who I haven’t spoken to from school days have reached out to me. Other community members are cut up about it. No matter who the person be, no matter how you hate somebody and you see that video you have to feel cut up about it. I didn’t know my daughter was so loved. My family and friends, the councillor and the MP reach out to me. Kaylan’s [who was also savagely beaten by a number of women a few years ago] mother reached out to me. Nobody no know how me feel as a mother to see my pickney lay down on the ground and nobody help her; everybody stand up and a look,” the mother said.
She is determined that those who hurt her child will pay.
“I am going about it the right way, because me no grow so, my pickney no grow so. I should be looking forward to sending her back to school next week,[but instead] a doctor bills me have to pay. We are not vagabonds, we don’t live loose life, and them attack my pickney over man and me no business bout them!” said Simms.