$240K raised in 6 days for Darien’s Scott Hapgood to fight manslaughter charge
The vocal and public local support for a Darien’s Hapgood family has now translated into financial support. A GoFundMe page created for Scott Hapgood and his family as he fights manslaughter charges in Anguilla has raised over $240,000 in the six days since it was created.
“Please help Scott and his family as they fight to regain the life they worked so hard to build. Funds raised will be exclusively directed towards legal, administrative, travel-related, and personal security expenses associated with the recent tragedy in the Hapgoods life,” the description of the page says. The funds will be administered by the Prichard family, described as “longtime friends of the Hapgoods.”
Since the story was published at 8 a.m., donations have increased by approximately $4,000. Donations as of 10 a.m. $156,991 had been raised by 272 donors and the page has been shared 438 times in the three days its been activated. Most of the donations are under $1,000, but there are several in the amount of $1,000, and for $2,000. Some are at $5,000 or nearly that amount, including a combined contribution from the CT Grizzlies, described as a “premiere lacross club.” The Darien Times was informed about the GoFundMe from a parent on that team who said the Hapgoods’ daughter plays for the Grizzlies with her child.
There is also one individual donation in the amount of $10,000.
Hapgood, 44, has been charged with manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel. Hapgood, a Darien resident who is on leave from his job as a UBS trader, has been accused of killing the hotel worker in April during a violent struggle while on vacation with his family in the Caribbean.
The Hapgoods’ three children — aged 14, 12 and 9 — have been kept largely out of the spotlight throughout the international media frenzy since the initial incident over spring break.
“The Go Fund Me page set up for us is a reminder to our family of how fortunate we are to be surrounded by the most incredible circle of friends and family. We will be forever grateful to everyone who has donated such badly needed funds as we try to move forward from the nightmare we are living,” the Hapgood family said.
“Although we wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, the support from the Fairfield County, Dartmouth and Kansas communities, both financial and otherwise, has made us realize how blessed we are,” they said through spokesman Jamie Diaferia of Infinite Global.
Hapgood’s attorney, Juliya Arbisman, of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, said Anguilla police have warned of potential threats of violence as her client has returned to the island several times in the past month for court appearances.
The Hapgood family has said the Darien man was defending himself and his young children after Mitchel came to their room to fix a bathroom sink. Hapgood contended the sink was never broken and no one called for someone to come to their room, but he trusted Mitchel because he was wearing a hotel uniform.
The family has accused Mitchel of pulling a knife, resulting in Hapgood “fighting for his life” and being bitten multiple times, including on the face.
A toxicology report released last month revealed Mitchel tested positive for cocaine, Delta-9 THC (the active substance in marijuana) and other drugs. The report also showed that Mitchel had a blood-alcohol content level of .181, which is more than double the legal limit in the United States and the United Kingdom, which is .08.
“The toxicology report confirms that Scott Hapgood had no choice but to defend himself and his children from the frenzied attack of a man under the influence of a dangerous combination of illegal drugs and alcohol,” Arbisman said after the report was released.
Residents on the island were outraged Hapgood was permitted to return to Connecticut after Mitchel’s death. Hapgood was originally held at Her Majesty’s Prison in Anguilla when he was denied bail. But he was later released on bond after his attorney appealed to the High Court.
Earlier this month, Hapgood’s spokesman said he had fulfilled his bail requirements by attending all of his court dates and will return to Anguilla in November as the court considers the next steps.
The GoFundMe page notes also add that if there are extra funds after the Hapgoods’ financial needs are met, the remainder will be donated to Darien’s Person-to-Person.