QCOSTARICA (La Nacion) Amanda Castro and her friends decided to spend Saturday afternoon at the wind farm (parque eólico) located in Santa Ana, San José. Like many others, she saw it as something normal and to get out of the routine.
Once the walk was over, however, as she and her friends were leaving the green area they were intercepted by a man who pointed a gun at them and assaulted them.
She describes it as a traumatic experience, especially since she never thought that something like this would happen to her. According to what the young woman told La Nación, the assailant forced them to kneel, stripped them of their belongings and began to shoot; luckily he didn’t hurt her or any of her friends.
“We arrived at about 3:30 pm and were the first. At that time there was no one else, By 4:00 pm families and couples began to arrive and there was nothing suspicious. The day was very beautiful and on leaving we went out through a narrow path, which is where you normally enter so as not to climb a mountain, and we saw a guy coming towards us,” she recounted.
Once the man was close to them, she asked them to hand over their cell phones; Very scared, they told him that they did not have any valuables, however, the attacker insisted that he had been watching them for a while and that they hand over everything they had.
“We gave him our belongings, we left running and some people who were there did not realize what was happening, perhaps because of the unevenness of the mountain, so I approached them and alerted them. We called the police and it took about 10 minutes or more to arrive but there was no one the whole time we were there,” Castro said.
Although Castro filed a complaint with the Judicial Police ( Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), she assures that her main objective is to call attention so that people understand that it, the wind farm, is not a safe place as it used to be and that there are no police patrols there either.
“Fortunately, in our case, they (the police) didn’t take that long to arrive, but there’s no one there,” said Castro.
“Fortunately, my friend only had a bag and a phone, but it was worse for my other friend and me, because they stole some brand name bags, her car keys, and me my house keys, cell phones, and wireless headphones, IDs, cards, licenses, almost a total of ¢3,150,000,” she explained.
The young woman and her friends believed that the assailant was a horse caretaker in the area because he was wearing boots, a long-sleeved shirt and a cap.
The OIJ confirmed that from the previous weekend until this Monday, they have received at least three complaints of assault at the Santa Ana Wind Farm. However, “because it is in a private investigation phase, no further details can be provided.”
Daniel Chavarría, head of the Santa Ana Municipal Police, commented that although he is aware of the case, his police force did not attend to this or any other related event; in his opinion because it was the Fuerza Publica (National Police) officers who arrived at the scene after the 9-1-1 call.
Chavarría explained that his officers carry out at least one daily patrol of the area, and at least two on weekends, when more people visit the area.
“We cannot deny that there are many people we find being scandalous or throwing garbage, but there have been no assaults that have caught our attention or complaints, at least in the Santa Ana municipal police,” said the police chief.
“We recommend that people exercise caution because as the place is visited by many people, generally families and teens, we remind them to exercise caution and be aware of those nearby and take care of the belongings.”
A man with the surname Muñoz, known as “Pachita”, was arrested on August 17 as an apparent suspect of committing assaults in different parts of the canton of Santa Ana, specifically in Salitral, where the well-known Santa Ana Wind Farm is located.
A firearm was seized from Muñoz, which he apparently used to perpetrate the assaults and scare his victims. At the same time, another second man, surnamed Granados, was arrested for carrying a pistol that did not have any type of permit or documentation for its use.
Police did not specify if there is a relationship between the two suspects and the robberies committed at the wind farm, which were exposed by users on social networks where they mentioned that a man threatened them with a firearm and a knife.
Although Muñoz was captured days ago, the Fuerza Publica indicated that he was free. The police say they do not know if he is under precautionary measures while the case is being investigated.
Read the original article “A joven asaltada en eólicas de Santa Ana la encañonaron y la hincaron para quitarle ¢3 millones” in La Nacion.