Local USVI News

Woman Who Tried to Take Daughter Away From Scheduled Visitation at AgriFest Charged With Contempt of Court

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ST. CROIX — A woman who took her daughter away from her father during las weekend’s Agricultural Fair is facing charges for violating a court order.

A police officer on special assignment at AgriFest was approached on Sunday around 1:25pm by a man who told the officer a “lady took my child!” The woman he was pointing to, later identified as Zhane Proctor, was walking away with the girl, holding hands.

The man showed the officer a digital copy of a court order, which was signed on May 4th last year. The order gave custody to the man, the girl’s father, from Friday evenings through Sunday evening. Since it was well before 5:30 pm, the time at which custody reverted to the mother, the police officer asked the woman to hand the child over so that she could be returned to her father.

Proctor reportedly refused the police officer’s request several times, instead choosing to loudly grouse about child custody issues, “to the point that she began drawing the attention of other fair goers,” according to court documents.

She eventually seemed to heed the officer’s counsel that she abide by the strictures of the court order, and handed the girl over as instructed. However, after the officer gave them both a stern warning, he says he turned around to see Proctor grabbing the little girl’s hand and once again leading her away. He again approached her and instructed her to give the girl back, and upon her refusal, the officer says he physically took hold of the little girl underneath each armpit, while Proctor told her other daughter to record the interaction on her mobile phone.

The officer, refusing to surrender the child, kept trying to pull her out of her mother’s grasp while instructing Proctor to release the child. Eventually, he was successful in returning the girl to her father, after which he told Proctor that she was under arrest. Proctor allegedly attempted to walk away several times while the officer tried to handcuff her.

With her hands finally cuffed behind her back, Proctor reportedly threw herself to the ground while the officer attempted to walk her to the police vehicle. It took another VIPD officer to  render assistance in getting Proctor off the ground, after which she was transported to the Wilbur H Francis Command police station, arrested and charged with contempt of court, disobeying orders of a policeman, and disturbance of the peace.

In court on Monday, a judge ruled that Proctor’s bail requirement remain at the $1000 she had posted subsequent to her arrest. She is to remain lawful, keep in contact with her attorney, and attend all scheduled court dates. Proctor was also ordered to remain at least 1000 ft away from her child’s father at all times, except to facilitate scheduled visitation, and then only unless the pair is unable to arrange a third-party for that purpose. The presiding judge admonished Proctor not to contact her child’s father during his custody hours unless there is an “actual, not perceived” emergency.

Having seen testimony from the police that Proctor has violated at least one previous court order, the judge made it very clear that if she violated this pre-trial release order, “you will spend the rest of your time awaiting trial at the John H. Bell correctional facility.”

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