Police: Visitor assaulted along SMB

Royal Cayman Islands Police are investigating an attack on an American tourist that witnesses said occurred along Seven Mile Beach just before midnight Thursday.

The 21-year-old man was taken to hospital after the incident and is expected to survive his injuries. Police confirmed he was a visitor to the Islands.

The incident took place along the Public Beach area of Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, just south of Calico Jack’s bar on the waterfront.

Calico’s owner Handel Whittaker said he was uncertain if the man had been attending the bar’s Full Moon Party Wednesday night simply because there were so many people around. However, he said the assault victim did run to the bar for assistance after being attacked.

“We believe the individual walked down the beach and there were some guys down there…he must have put up a fight and they stabbed him,” Mr. Whittaker said. “This did not happen at Calico Jack’s, we take every step to keep our patrons safe and sound.”

However, Mr. Whittaker also noted that the incident is a major concern for everyone in the country’s tourism business.

“This is ridiculous,” he said. “It’s very concerning to us. People come here and they wander up and down the beach all the time and they don’t have to worry about predators hanging around for them.”

The Full Moon Party, which has been held at Calico’s for going on eight years now, has basically become an Island-wide festival each month, Mr. Whittaker said.

“When you have functions, there are always, well, undesirables hanging around,” he said. “But our events have always been very safe. We had five security guards here [Wednesday] night.”

For their part, Royal Cayman Islands Police said very little about the incident. Officers asked anyone with information about the incident to contact the Criminal Investigation Department in George Town at 949-4222. 

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22 COMMENTS

  1. This is unbelievable. Stabbed on 7 Mile Beach. Time to get rid of unwanted, and possibly unregistered, visitors. And to prosecute any persons who are employing such visitors.

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  2. Unbelievable, now you cant even take a stroll down Seven Mile Beach. What will it take for the RCIPS to start doing whats needed to take this Island back from these thugs ? I truly believe that they are more afraid of these guys than the thugs are afraid of RCIPS. The Cops in Cayman seems to work only in a reactive state just investigating crimes after the fact with no ideas of how to be proactive against Crime. This was a tourist from the US so Im sure this will hit the US News this evening and send a lot people running to other places for vacation.

    Come on RCIPS, its your jobs to protect the people, please start acting like you can actually do it and stop running from these lowlifes like a bunch of Keystone Cops. But I guess understand, you probably wouldnt if you had the means to even protect yourselves. Youre obviously being asked to jump into a Gun and Knife fight armed only with a Flashlight and Baton.

    I think at this point its only fair to start warning people of the dangers lurking around the corners in Grand Cayman. I have been seeing quite a bit of warnings on Travel Sites like this one from Travelosity.

    Question;
    With the recent wave of crime in Grand Cayman, is it still safe for tourists?

    While were planning on staying on the North Side of the island, were a bit concerned since we have 2 young children with us and most of the attractions are in West Bay or Georgetown.
    Additional Details
    Were looking to fly non-stop out of Tampa Airport. So there are only 2 locations in Caribbean you can get to from TPA, one is Puerto Rico, the other is the Cayman Islands. Been to Puerto Rico many times, thus the reason were looking into Cayman Islands. So the question still stands.

    Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
    Personally, I would avoid any island with high crime. Why go there when there are dozens of Caribbean islands? Jamaica, Sint Maarten/St Martin, now Cayman. Avoid them until they clean up their crime problem. My two cents.

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  3. Old Hand

    Im sorry to have to be answering you personally but this is a most unjust and unfair statement.

    Do you have any proof of who has actually committed this attack and that it is unwanted and unregistered visitors ?

    Or is the visitors you refer to the person who was actually attacked ?

    How dare you infer that it cannot be a local Caymanian as well as anyone else.

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  4. NJ2Cay; what are you advocating, that the police do their work based on profiling. OK, the police is to walk along SMB with a big iron on his hip and search anyone who looks like they may be carrying a knife. Or lets set up gated check-points, no pass, no pass!.
    You go out there with a weapon and have a complaint called in against you and see if the police show up with a flashlight. This incident is unfortunate just as the thousands of incidents that happen in New-Jersey each month is unfortunate, and will be sorted out within the rule of law. If you really dont believe the police are doing their job, look at the prisoner to population stats.

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  5. On carefully reading the article and having been to quite a few of those parties…

    This sounds more like a flare up between this tourist and a group of locals who were all partying on the beach.

    It doesnt sound like this was a targeted attack for the purpose of robbing this visitor.

    Fights flare up between young men partying and drinking all the time and parties held on the 7 Mile Beach are no different from anywhere else.

    They just have more potential to bring visitors and locals into more contact and possible confrontation.

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  6. Caymanian on Guard, I am not advocating profiling at all, what I am suggesting is that the RCIPS actually show more of a presence with regular patrols, which is something I rarely see. New Jersey is full of creeps but the fact that you never know when a cop is coming around the corner curbs a lot of nonsense. In this case a passing officer could have stopped this incident before it started by putting a drunken tourist in check or by observing a group of troublemakers whichever it may be.

    On any given day or night how many officers do you actually see on patrol around seven mile beach or anywhere else on the island for that matter. They always show up after the fact. With the raising rate of crime the RCIPS really need to show more of a presence as a deterrent to anyone that wants to start trouble tourist, expat or local.

    As far as the police doing their job, In my opinion which is only an opinion I do not believe that the RCIPS are prepared for the rising crime rate because its not what they are used to. Times have changed so tactics have to change as well.

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  7. NJ2Cay is exactly right. At least 4 times a week there is an article in the Compass about crime. Armed robberies happen AT LEAST weekly on this island, which is completely unacceptable. What tactics are the RCIPS (and the government) taking to fight these crimes? I hope someone can give an answer, because I dont know. There does not seem to be an increased police presence anywhere, no proactive efforts to stop the problem. All the police do is react, and as a result very few of these robbers are actually caught and charged.

    A perfect example of how little thought goes into things around here: In response to the rising crime, the Chamber of Commerce has asked the RCIPS to talk to the public about crime reduction strategies. Commissioner David Baines is going to give a presentation on what the RCIPS is doing. When will this happen? Wednesday 26 January at 3pm. WHY ON A WEDNESDAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY? Most honest citizens who have concerns about this issue are at work and cannot take time off to go hear this speech. Did they choose this time to purposely avoid facing critics and having to answer tough questions? Or did they just not care enough to put any thought into what times are realistic for concerned citizens to attend? Either way, its poor planning. And when the police cant plan a public meeting to talk about fighting crime, it doesnt give a lot of confidence about their ability to actually fight it.

    It is not just the RCIPS. It is the government. Experts on gangs and on crime prevention need to be brought in from the US and the UK, and the RCIPS needs training and weapons (yes, weapons) to fight the bad guys.

    Cayman is very quickly deteriorating. Last week there were FIVE armed robberies in ONE week! Now an assault on a tourist. The RCIPS and the government need to get out in front of the problem and not just react!!!

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  8. The bottom line to this story is: Bad for tourism. Just plain bad!! I am going to go back 25yrs plus, when they were able to have the biggest, largest bar-b-que there was on the island over by then the Holiday Inn.(I think everyone that lived on the island was there) Where there was no problem walking home from the largest party there was. My suggestion is, the one thing the RCIP did have then, was an undercover presence, more so then, not so now from what I hear.
    Maybe that is a possibility. There was also a zero tollerence level in the immigration department, the courts, and the law. Mayne that also needs a look at.
    But again I repeat and have been saying, when CI becomes like any other be careful when you go to that island, everyone loses….I know things change in the world, and nothing supposedly stays the same, but I always hoped that Cayman would be the exception to that rule…….

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  9. Stepped up patrols are always a plus, but I expect the police are in force busy patrolling those hot spots. I see them patrolling because I make it a point to remind them to swing by the neighborhood.
    But guns on patrol do not solve much, and if they do surprise any creeps in NJ they just keep on creeping according to this US report:

    Despite its small population of just 70,0000 inhabitants, Camden (NJ) has been in the top 10 of Americas most dangerous cities for more than half a century with just some rare gaps. In fact crime rate in Camden rarely subsided too much since the time the city picked up its infamous criminal background reputation in 1949. That was the year when an unemployed Howard Unruh murdered 13 people in 12 minutes, having thus set the sad record of killing as many people in as little time – more than one per minute! – and becoming the first known single-episode mass murderer in the USAs modern history.

    If you review the citys only recent years history of crime and violence, then total of 7,639 serious crimes were reported to Camden police in 2000. In 2002 the FBIs Uniform Crime Report cited Camden, New Jersey, to have put on record 607 cases of robbery and 797 cases of aggravated assault, nearly double the national average.

    The 2004 crime statistics ranked Camden, New Jersey, as the nations highest crime rate city, up from the third place in 2003. Those rankings took into account a citys crime rate for crime categories covering 6 basic crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. In 2004 Camden experienced an increase in every category over the same criminal statistics in 2003. Specifically, the murder rate was cited almost 9 times the national average of 5.7 per 100,000. The privately funded research in 2004 compared 354 cities with the population starting from 75,000 residents.

    Camden has since made a turn-around, not with guns or the force of police but with community involvement, neighborhood-watch, and citizen reporting crime.. When we allowed criminals to coin Citizens reporting crime to (Snitch) we lost ground, when even the police reinforce this by adopting the term in their daily work we lost.. Citizens reporting crime is not a snitch it is someone enforcing the rule of law.. The police is just our paid force, we have to do our part to apply that force where it is needed, and curb it when it is not. No one wants to have the coined phase (Police State) said.

    What would you do if you saw a crime being committed.. In many cases it is see nothing, hear nothing, do nothing..

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  10. Dear caymanian-on-guard on 1/21/2011 9:52:00 AM
    I think your example of comparing Camden NJ to Cayman is a poor example. Camden NJ is a cesspool and no one would chose that as a destination on vacation. People come to the Cayman Islands for fun and sun. If Cayman doesnt get a grip on the violent assualts and crime, it will soon develop a reputation like many other violent crime ridden Caribbean Islands and your tourist will go somewhere else.

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  11. Accepted, Expat7611 on 1/21/2011 10:46:50 AM. I just believe we dont need guns to do it, since guns dont work in NJ. or anywhere else. I believe the appointing of the district counsels will help the police pick-up the slack.. I also agree that those creeps need to be afraid of us (The law) not we afraid of them. The ultimate failure is still the lost of a visitors life while on vacation, the water-sport industry requires a critical look..

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  12. Just as I surmised from the Caycompass reports, this tourist got involved in an altercation with local elements at this party on the beach and came off the worse in the encounter.

    There was no suggestion in the Caycompass report that he was a victim of a robbery and the bar owner himself did not suggest that in any way either.

    The bar owners statement regarding undesirable elements is highly open to interpretation and does sound biased in favour of the tourist, without himself, admittedly, being in possession of all the facts.

    As much as some people in Cayman has always supported segregation, Cayman is a free country and anyone affording to pay for their drinks can attend any public function.

    It is all parties responsibility at functions and events where alcohol is served to mind their behaviour…

    That applies to tourists as well as local residents.

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  13. Caymanian on Guard, its funny that you use Camden NJ as a Comparison. This is one of the many places in New Jersey where people go out of their way to avoid. Sad but true a long time ago Camden NJ was considered a good area, but unfortunately crime got out of control and 50 years later its still a cesspool that people drive out of their way to avoid. A great example of what happens when you let Crime get away from you and the Criminal Element take charge. These things need to be stopped before they get out of control, its no different than a disease like Cancer, if you wait too long to address the problem most of the time the damage is done and its too late to cure the sickness. Cayman has a disease right now and its spreading quickly, unfortunately the people with the cure just dont see it.

    Remember the biggest selling point for Cayman tourism has always the absence of Crime and the safety factor. Lose this reputation and people will say its cheaper to go to Jamaica or St Lucia and its really no more dangerous than Grand Cayman.

    The Crime rate in Cayman is now miniscule and can be nipped in bud very easily if the right decisions are made which may be hard choices. But there comes a time when hard Choices have to be made.

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  14. Caymanian on Guard it is absolutely incredible that you say police armed with guns dont work in NJ. Are you saying that the crime rate would be lower if the police were not armed ?

    I can only imagine if NJ Police were not armed especially in places like Camden, people wouldnt even be able to leave their homes and most likely wouldnt be safe in their own homes.

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  15. Firery is right, it is all parties responsibility to mind their behavior, be it a tourist or local. More of a police presence would keep knuckleheads more in line weather they are tourists or locals.

    I think the big issue here is that someone got stabbed, from I read it seems he got into an altercation with some locals at or after the party, this probably wouldnt have been such a big deal if all he got was a beat down for running his mouth.

    Im sure a few guys could have shut up one drunken tourist without stabbing him in the face.

    But hey thats only my opinion.

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  16. Coming from the US, Arizona specifically, I wonder why the crime rate is going up in CI? Is it your economy? Could it be that you dont have enough police? Using Camden NJ as an example is a poor idea, since they just fired 388 or so city employees, about 168 or so were fire and police.

    What needs to be done is to have your Community Oriented Policing Unit begin meeting with the citizens, the business people and educate them in the ways to prevent crime by knowing what to look for and how to report it either anonymously or as a citizen who is willing to testify.

    And guns do work, but only if the criminals know that they could be robbing someone who may be armed and ready to use the firearm they are allowed to carry.

    Dont use the recent shootings in Tucson as an example of what happens when guns ae freely owned and carried. If there had been at least one armed citizen willing to use their firearm, that sociopathic freak would not have hurt or kille so many. Regardless of the type of guns carried.

    And if your cops are too scared to face persons who are carrying knives or other types of cutting instruments, get them Tasers, they are easy to train with and prevent many injuries and even deaths of your officers. But they are no match for a gun.

    And Ive been to Jamaica and to Cayman, no one ever approached me in Cayman in full view of the hotel I was staying at and asked if I wanted drugs.

    I did see Police Officers carrying what appeared to be a fully automatic Sterling sub-machine gun and even one with a Smith and Wesson .38 Special. Trin your officers and stand behind them.

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  17. For those of you that believe in praying, you should do it now and do it hard. If this type of information gets to the American Press bend over and kiss your tourism industry good-bye. Get a grip Cayman and stop blaming other people, aka the Jamaicans. It is a constant cry in the media that it is never Caymans fault. Those dang foreigners!!

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  18. Really? Another attack on an innocent person? My father, who has lived in Cayman for over 20 years was attacked in his own home by someone who busted open his door an came at him with a machete. My father held his own and the attacker fled but this cannot continue-this situation could have turned out a lot worse. If you are not going to solve the criminal problem (government and police) at least let the citizens arm themselves so they can defend themselves. Shame on the government and police force for not better protecting the citizens and visitors of Cayman. I sure hope the reputation you now have as a violent island turns around. In the meantime, I hope my family returns to the states-as sadly, it has become too dangerous to stay in Cayman.

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  19. Thankfully we are following the UK model, hopefully we will stay with that for now. The US example of armed citizens are not encouraging. Editor you have your soap box, and it seem that our guest would like to be armed to the teeth in order to protect our fragile tourist industry..

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  20. Caymanian on Guard-if someone broke into your home at 10:45 p.m. on a Saturday night while you were making yourself dinner in the kitchen and turned around to a man dressed in all black with a knife in his hand coming right at you, you would likely change your mind about the option to bear arms. Especially when your Caymanian government is doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the problem. I am beginning to think they are either in cahoots with them or are scared of them-either way, the high level of crime on such a tiny island is unacceptable.

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  21. NJ2Cay

    There are certain elements in Cayman, who for the sake of the tourist industry as a whole,maintain that a tourist can do no wrong, regardless of how wrong they might be in any particular circumstance.

    I do know a thing or two about event security, alcohol consumption levels and conflict management as I am professionally qualified in those particular areas in a system here in the UK that Cayman might do well to look at adopting for private security of events.

    When I lived in Cayman I can recount many instances of poor tourist behaviour that has led to me ejecting tourists from venues where I had respponsibility for security for unacceptable and aggressive behaviour.

    I can remember one particular incident when I was out socialising at a popular nightclub and a tourist lad who had had too much to drink tried to pick a fight with me as soon as I entered the premises.

    The security at that venue ejected him immediately, absolutely no questions asked and without hesitation.

    By all accounts, this was no attack on an innocent tourist but a situation where this drunk tourist got involved in a situation with some locals and was aggressive towards them and seemingly assaulted them first.

    That is the gist of the story as I can piece it together from different sources.

    If none of us were there, we cannot say what actually happened but anyone who picks fights when they are drunk can expect to get at least a beating, be they tourist or local.

    Proper event security calls for even-handedness, firmness and fairness, regardless of the race, gender, nationality or origin of the patrons.

    Cayman nightlife would be much more enjoyable for all patrons if these principles were adopted at liqour licenced premises.

    I can guarantee you from personal experience, that in too many cases, they are not.

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  22. Firery,

    I completely agree with everything you said, I have seen quite a bit of rowdy tourists as well, more so then rowdy locals. And I agree that if he was running his mouth a beat down may have been warranted along with a black eye or busted lip, but absolutely not a knife to the face. I would say the same thing if it was a local that got stabbed.

    There is something called fight like a man, unfortunately that doesnt seem to be the regular anywhere nowadays.

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