Local USVI News

Tourist Allegedly Assaults Friend Over Hotel Restaurant Bill

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ST. THOMAS — A tourist is facing criminal charges after he allegedly assaulted his friend over a restaurant bill.

Robert Voelkers was arrested on Tuesday after police officers were dispatched to a local resort in reference to a reported assault. There, they made contact with the victim who reported that he, his wife and his friend Robert Voelkers were at the hotel and decided to dine together on property.

According to the victim, they all agreed to have the meal billed to their room and that they would split it accordingly. He stated that after the meal his wife went through the bill and identified which expense belonged to who. However, according to the man, Voelkers replied in an aggressive manner “one of the waters should not be on my bill because I did not drink any and you guys did!” The man said he told Voelkers that he would pay for the waters and that it was not a problem. 

However, according to his statement, Voelkers became angry, grabbed him by his throat and pushed him to the ground aggressively. The victim recounted that he tried to push Voelkers off of him but he punched him in the face, causing injuries. The man further told police that his wife eventually succeeded in breaking up the fight after multiple attempts. His wife provided a statement to police in which she reiterated the victim’s allegations. 

According to the probable cause fact sheet, the responding officer observed a contusion to the victim’s face. When police made contact with Voelkers he declined to make a statement without his attorney. He was advised of his rights, placed under arrest and charged with simple assault and disturbance of the peace. He was booked and processed at the Richard N. Callwood Command and turned over to the Bureau of Corrections to await his advisement hearing.

Voelkers appeared before a judge on Wednesday and it was noted that he is a tourist, visiting the territory from the mainland. Bail was set at $1,000 and the judge granted an emergency motion to allow the defendant to travel back home while the matter is pending. However, the judge stressed that he must be present for all future court proceedings which will be held virtually.

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