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Court Demands Full Bail in St. Thomas Bat Assault Case, Victim Suffers Severe Injuries

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The Virgin Islands Police Department provided this mugshot of Yant Diaz.

A St. Thomas incident has escalated to felony charges for a woman accused of attacking another with a bat, marking a grave turn in events.

Late at night on January 21, law enforcement was summoned to Kronprindsens Gade following an assault report. Upon arrival, officers encountered Yant Diaz, who claimed self-defense after allegedly being attacked with a knife, responding by hitting her assailant on the head with a bat. Despite a bleeding arm laceration, Diaz waived medical care.

Contrastingly, the other involved party contested Diaz’s narrative, insisting she was the true victim of an unprovoked bat assault to her head, negating any claims of wielding a knife. The dispute led to her urgent transport to Schneider Regional Medical Center for her injuries.

The confrontation began over mutual photography accusations between the women at an intersection, spiraling into a heated verbal then physical clash. The victim recounted using a glass beer bottle found nearby as a makeshift defense against Diaz’s punches, leading to her fall. Diaz’s alleged retreat and return with an aluminum bat, striking the victim repeatedly, intensified the violence. In defense, the victim resorted to throwing a bottle and a rock at Diaz, eventually separated by onlookers as she discovered her severe head injuries.

Surveillance footage from nearby establishments lent credence to the victim’s account, capturing the altercation’s escalation and Diaz’s aggressive use of the bat. This incident adds to an existing pattern of disturbances reported between Diaz and her neighbor.

Diaz faced arrest on February 9, confronting charges including assault in the first and third degree, simple assault, mayhem, and disturbing the peace. Awaiting her court hearing, she was detained with bail set by Magistrate Paula Norkaitis at $75,000, required in full.

Efforts to modify bail conditions were met with resistance from prosecutors and ultimately rejected by Judge Norkaitis, leaving Diaz in custody with a forthcoming court appearance scheduled for March 1.

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Crime

Former Deputy Park Superintendent of St. Croix Sentenced for Property Conversion and Fraud

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ST. CROIX, VI – Gregory Camacho, 43, previously Deputy Park Superintendent for the National Park Service in St. Croix, received a sentence of nine months of home detention and four years of probation for unlawfully converting property, according to U.S. Attorney for the USVI, Delia L. Smith. The sentencing was handed down by District Judge Wilma A. Lewis on Thursday.

In addition to home detention and probation, Judge Lewis imposed a $6,000 fine and a special assessment of $75 on Camacho. He was also ordered to pay restitution amounting to $29,502.20 to the National Park Service.

According to court filings, Camacho, during his tenure as acting park superintendent from June 2019 to August 2020, occupied two housing units owned by the National Park Service without fulfilling rental payments, causing a loss of $14,192.10. In another instance in July 2019, Camacho deceitfully claimed relocation expenses for his family’s move from Titusville, FL, to St. Croix, even though he moved alone. This action led to unjust reimbursements totaling $13,387.50.

Furthermore, between October 2018 and September 2019, Camacho was found to have submitted overlapping travel vouchers for the same trips from his primary duty station, resulting in an additional $1,922.50 in improper gains.

These findings were brought to light through an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior, with the case prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Huston.

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Crime

Daylight Assault in St. Thomas Leaves Man Injured

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A distressing incident unfolded on St. Thomas when a man suffered injuries in a daylight assault in Simmonds Alley, according to a statement from the V.I. Police Department. The attack occurred on Wednesday around 12:15 p.m.

Authorities were alerted to the situation when the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call about a man found bleeding from the neck near the Jala Jala establishment on Kronprindsens Gade. Responding officers discovered the victim with a severe laceration on the left side of his neck, believed to be the result of the assault.

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, the victim refrained from providing a statement to law enforcement at the scene. He was quickly transported to Schneider Regional Medical Center for medical attention.

The VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau has taken charge of the investigation and is urging the public to assist by providing any relevant information. Individuals can contact the CIB at (340) 774-2211 or call 911. For those preferring to stay anonymous, tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers USVI by calling 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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Crime

Six Arrests Made in St. Thomas Drug Trafficking Crackdown

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ST. THOMAS — A targeted joint operation by the Virgin Islands Police Department, alongside the Drug Enforcement Agency and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, resulted in the arrest of six men accused of drug-related crimes in the Red Hook area, a noted hub for illegal narcotics activity.

Throughout February, these coordinated efforts focused on dismantling drug trafficking networks, culminating in several key arrests:

  • N’Kel Morton, 30, was taken into custody at Red Hook Plaza on March 8, 2024, facing charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
  • On March 7, 2024, Jaamal Bell, 42, was arrested at American Yacht Harbor, charged with intent to distribute narcotics.
  • Peter Francis Jr., 33, encountered the same fate at the same location, on identical charges.
  • Anwar Lockhart, 40, was arrested on March 15, 2024, on Cassi Hill for cocaine distribution.
  • Niah Henry, 35, was apprehended on March 16, 2024, at Red Hook Plaza, with charges similar to Morton’s.
  • Kenson Plasimond, 43, was arrested on March 7, 2024, at Tutu Park Mall, also charged with possession with intent to distribute.

These arrests signify a continued commitment by local and federal law enforcement to curb the flow of illegal drugs in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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