Anguilla case: Hapgood family shares their timeline of events leading to April arrest
The family of Darien resident Scott Hapgood has released a further statement Thursday morning regarding his arrest for manslaughter in Anguilla. Hapgood was charged by the Royal Anguilla Police Force on April 16 for the April 13 death of Kenny Mitchell, reportedly an employee at the hotel at which Hapgood and his family were staying. The Royal Anguilla Police Force has been updating its Facebook page with the events surrounding the case.
Hapgood was taken to the Magistrate Court on April 17, where bail was initially denied, and he was remanded to prison in Anguilla until Aug. 22, 2019, Royal Police reported. On the same date, Hapgood’s counsel made an application to The High Court Judge for consideration for the granting of bail, Royal Police said. Hapgood was granted bail in the sum of $200,000 East Caribbean dollars, the equivalent of approximately $75,000, and reportedly released — to return to appear in court on Aug. 22.
Many in the Anguilla community have been sharing alleged information on social media about the case and expressed outrage that Hapgood was granted bail and was allowed to leave the country following the arrest.
"When Scott and our family went on vacation, we never thought he would end up defending himself and our young children against an armed intruder. We were excited for our first family vacation abroad in the beautiful and tranquil Caribbean island of Anguilla. But with a single knock at the door, our dream vacation turned into a chilling nightmare—a literal fight to survive," the statement said.
The family said they cooperated fully with local authorities in Anguilla following the attack, and their first-hand accounts of the events were taken by them.
The Hapgood family also released a list of facts they allege did not take place "on or before April 13," in the following statement:
· Neither Scott nor the family made any call for a maintenance request to our hotel room on April 13, 2019, or at any time prior.
· Neither Scott nor the family knew the attacker before April 13, 2019, when he came to the room, dressed in the hotel’s uniform. The attacker arrived minutes after our minor daughters walked back to the hotel room on their own. The man knocked on the door, saying he was there to fix a broken sink. Scott indicated the sinks were not broken as far as he was aware, but that the man was free to have a look. Like any of us would, he trusted a hotel staff person in uniform.
· Neither Scott nor the family had any conversations with the attacker at any time prior to him coming to the hotel room on April 13, 2019.
· During the attack, Scott did not choke the attacker. Scott himself sustained severe injuries as a result of the physical struggle which ensued. Scott was literally fighting for his life. He was bitten multiple times by the attacker, including on his face. After the attacker was restrained by a security guard, and before Scott was taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment for his injuries, we took the included photo.
· Mrs. Hapgood was not present in the room at the time of the attack on Scott and his minor children.
· Mrs. Hapgood did not film the attack on Scott and his minor daughters. When she arrived, she was focused on the safety of her children and husband.
· Neither Scott nor any member of his family took photos of the attacker.
· Scott did not check into the Four Seasons resort the “very first day” after the attack. In contrast, he was in jail. After the attack, Scott was taken to the hospital to attend to his injuries, and then to the police station. While he was giving a witness statement, he first learned that the attacker passed away. Scott spent that evening in the police station. Upon his initial release, Scott was checked into the Four Seasons by the Malliouhana resort, which paid for the stay. Two days later, Scott was arrested and charged, handcuffed, and detained. This detention was one of the most grueling events of his life. Then, as soon as he could, Scott returned home to the United States.
"Scott’s wounds will heal, but the trauma of this incident will be with our family forever. Scott has spent his entire life doing the right things: he is married to his college sweetheart, he has worked at the same company for over 20 years, he is a volunteer coach and a loving and devoted father," the family said.
"Scott Hapgood did what any parent would do — defend himself and his children. And thanks to his actions, Scott and our family survived this terrible encounter," the family said.
The family expressed thanks to those who "have offered encouragement and support during this trying time. We ask that our privacy be respected as the judicial process moves forward."