A German couple who suffered an attack at the hands of a cutlass wielding bandit is still traumatised months after the dreaded event at Pigeon Point Resort. The incident occurred on November 22 last year and the couple was visiting Tobago for the first time.
According to a police report obtained by this newspaper, the two foreigners, Bernd Haaf and his wife Ilona Fischer, had just left the jetty at the popular resort and were on bicycles when they were attacked by a man with a 'Rasta hairstyle' who alighted from bushes and accosted them. "The man then took the cutlass and cut the victim's blue and grey knapsack which he was wearing at the time and which contained one cannon digital camera valued 200 Euros, a pair of binoculars, two pairs of sunglasses, a USB stick and a red jersey," the report stated.
The man swung the cutlass and dealt seventy-one year-old Haaf a blow to his left hand before escaping through nearby bushes. Haaf sustained injury to his left thumb finger which was completely severed in the process. He was subsequently treated at the Scarborough Hospital and discharged.
Speaking with Tobago News from their home in Germany, his wife explained that because the thumb could not be rescued, her husband will be disabled in all his activities in future. "He still suffers pain and can hardly use his left hand. This was our first trip to Tobago – it should be a paradise - but our holidays ended after only three days with a nightmare and we are still traumatised by this terrible incident changing our life in a negative way," she lamented.
She said, since the attack, the have been suffering from depressions, panic attacks and disordered sleep.
The couple was however, grateful for assistance received from Brett Kenny of Radical Sports as well as Nicolas Hardwicke of the Tobago Hotel Association and Sandra Hendrickson of the Division of Tourism in securing the next possible return flight to Germany.
"In this connection, we would like to point out that we paid an entrance fee for entering the park and thought that we are safe in this area, the more so as there was a barrier at the entrance and security staff. But it was not safe enough," the victim noted.
Tobago News tried to could not ascertain if any arrests has been made in relation to the case but was unsuccessful.