Club owner: Police error caused stabbing

A local club owner claims that poor judgment by police officers led to violence outside one of his establishments. 

During a meeting of the Liquor Licensing Board on Thursday, Joseph DeFilippo said: “We had an incident at The Attic where someone had a knife and threatened to kill everybody.  

And when [the police] responded, they said that “That’s my cousin.” And they took 
him downstairs and let him go.  

And then he stabbed everybody […] in the parking lot.  

They came out the next day and took a statement and nothing was done.  

I called the superintendent. He told me something would be done, and nothing was done.” 

Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Chief Inspector Frank Owens, who was attending the board meeting, then asked for Mr. DeFilippo’s contact information in order to speak with him about the issue. 

A police service spokesperson said, “We can confirm that CI Owens has arranged to meet with Mr. DeFilippo to 
discuss the matters that he raised.” 

The Caymanian Compass reached out to Mr. DeFilippo for additional comment, but had not yet received a response as of press time. 

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Poor Mr DeFillippo,
    How frustrating, to call the police and end up with the stereotypical response. This is why foreign police officers might have the upper hand in law enforcement here, they might be more impartial, which is such a sad social comment. In a perfect world Cayman should be policed by Caymanians. But the world is real and very imperfect.
    The idea of a trained and armed private security force is now so attractive. Our police continue to appear impotent by their own apparent lack of ability and judgement. I do not doubt an officer said He is my cousin and used that as rational to not treat the threat seriously. That officer, every officer, needs to be trained that relationship whether familial or friend is irrelevant in the course of his / her duty.

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  2. It doesn’t make a difference where the cops are from. The foreign cops give their friends and associates pardons too, so stop with the rubbish about local cops are preferential. This is a shared exercise, practice in the RCIP. They protect their own, their friends and their family regardless of where they come from.

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  3. A police service spokesperson said, We can confirm that CI Owens has arranged to meet with Mr. DeFilippo to discuss the matters that he raised…..There should be absolutely no need for such a meeting. If RCIPS attended there should be an incident report. End of. However this is yet another example of the ‘cancer’ which exists where it is the norm that miscreants are ‘let go’ due to them being for example, the second cousin of my uncle on my mother’s side. This makes a mockery of the RCIPS officers who are influenced by this culture, and no doubt frustrates the ones with integrity. Don’t overlook the fact that the world reads these episodes, will you?

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  4. So is the so called anti-corruption chief David Baines going to not only address this issue but bring the stabber to justice? Will he act responsible and accountable?.

    We are all vulnerable members of this local society as this continued saga of gruesome performance led by an incompetent top cop being paid to apparently ensure that to pervert the course of justice continues. This is an obvious conspiracy within, and a conspiracy without, is there any way of escape? What next? A list of excuses? And to think that this governor tolerates this RCIP top cop is even more troubling.

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  5. I hope that whoever the next elected government is that they make sure David Baines is replaced and that Cayman’s former and most respected, competent highly decorated and well deserving former Top Cop none other than Mr. Derek Haines is offered the job, with good pay and that the offer is something he can not refuse.
    We are desperate for a man like him in the top cop position. Criminals respected that man because he knew his job!
    We have suffered ever since he left the RCIP and the course of justice has been PERVERTED EVER SINCE!
    Somebody should be ashamed of themselves!

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  6. Though Cayman is too small for a similar policy:
    In Cuba, police officers work outside of their home provinces and are assigned to places where they have no family ties and aquaintances. It doesn’t stop corruption but it does help deter the natural tendencies toward nepotism.

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  7. And the police are responsible for the stabbing?

    What did the bartender(s) who filled the parties up with alcohol do to prevent the situation from escalating?

    What did the owner of the bar do to train his employees to keep things under control and avoid serving to the point of intoxication?

    And perhaps, just perhaps, the guy who pulled out a knife and stabbed someone should be the one held responsible?

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  8. Cayman Blue Iguana

    Are you a cop? You certainly sound like one.

    IF the bar owner is telling the truth…

    Don’t you have a problem with how this situation was initially handled by the members of the RCIPS who showed up at the Attic in response to the first call ?

    All police officers ahve to make judgement calls in these type of situations and possibly they made the wrong one but letting someone go because they’re family ?

    That is professional conduct most unbecoming, at the very least.

    If you know anything about liquor licenced premises law, you will know that a bar owner…and even private security can only go so far with customers in handling violence from their patrons; once the police has been called, the matter should be taken seriously.

    When all the other measures that you’ve listed has failed, its the RCIPS that the owner and other patrons have to depend on for their safety…

    And in this case, they failed badly…if the story is true.

    The very least I expect when I call the police to a premises at which I am responsible for security is that they will question the patron who has caused the problem…and order them to leave the premises, at pain of arrest if they do not…or return after they’ve been evicted…at least for that particular time.

    The members of the RCIPS who left this violent patron at the Attic might have just as well put the knife in his hand…

    They ARE responsible for what happened…

    And the matter should be seriously investigated.

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  9. Quote What did the owner of the bar do to train his employees to keep things under control and avoid serving to the point of intoxication?

    *blank stare*

    Every bar on the planet is full of intoxicated people. Let’s be realistic.

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  10. May I share a few comments that might make this situation and incident a little clearer.

    The real problem is the British/Caymanian legal system and attitudes towards the rights and abilities of private citizens to protect and defend themselves; under British law it isn’t seen as an absolute right, although, on paper, the law says that it is.

    This is the reason why private security operatives, at all levels, and individual citizens are given very limited rights to self-protection…and absolutely no right at all to bear arms, weapons or any other type of tools in aid of that self-protection; in essence, if you cannot have weapons with which to protect yourself, then your right to self-protection and defense is greatly devalued.

    As this incident highlights; the only way anyone who was cut or stabbed by this individual that night could actually protect themselves would have been to have a weapon or tool of their own with which to defend themselves; even the world’s greatest martial arts masters would highly advise against taking on an armed assailant totally unarmed oneself.

    Under the conditions that I’ve just laid out, the RCIPS takes calls to licensed premises in a very haphazard manner; I managed the security for a downtown restaurant/bar which operated a Friday night party for some months and have had this experience before.

    If and when they do respond to a call, they treat it as below their exhalted status as police officers; its as if the licensed premises had committed an offense by calling them and in many cases, a dangerous person is allowed to remain on the street when the situation called for more serious action by the police.

    Unless private security officers are highly trained in more robust systems than British/Caymanian law currently allows, their skills and abilities to handle very dangerous, intoxicated persons is extremely limited.

    Even basic protective equipment such as bullet-proof/stab vests, batons, handcuffs and MACE/pepper-spray are generally forbidden private security officers, although there is a law on paper that allows the RCIPS to authorise possession and use of these items in private security; I’ll bet that at Cayman’s liquor licensed premises there are NO security officers who are trained and authorised to carry and use these items.

    In every respect, as long as things remain this way…

    It IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of the RCIPS to respond and protect businesses and people who are being denied the right and tools with which to do the job themselves.

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  11. Firey,
    You are so correct. But like some of us, I’m sure you realize that the UK is quite happy seeing this kind of criminal activity occurring in their territory that competes with the UK as a financial center.
    The goal is to pervert the course of justice starting with the RCIP, destroy the country, release kids from school without adequate education,keep Caymanians jobless so they can run away and get employment in the UK or elsewhere. They intend to change the face of grassroots Cayman and butcher the number of successful Caymanians. Their plan for crime to escalate especially after each surge of UK police!
    There is a conspiracy to destroy the Cayman Islands.
    Direct rule or not, the UK does not want this country to flourish and the work permit system was once the secret weapon now public enemy Number One.

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  12. Dear BaBa Boom

    You obviously are unaware of how thhe laws on self defense work in the UK.

    Just recently a shop keeper was attacked with a knife outside his own premises, the intent being to rob him.

    He struggled with the man and in the fight the thief was fatally stabbed.

    The shop keeper was promptly arrested for MURDER!

    The laws here are nothing to do with the UK trying to destroy Cayman but everthing to do with the ridiculous attitude that a robber should have more rights than the person he is attempting to rob.

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  13. longtermresident…

    The arrest charge for the shopkeeper was ‘suspicion of murder’…that is the standard holding charge under British law, in Britain and Cayman…and all charges against the shopkeeper, who was 72 years old by the way, were eventually dropped.

    But your sentiments are basically correct; this works almost indentically in both countries; the law does not give an absolute right to self-defense.

    What is wrong about this incident in Cayman that would never have happened in Britain is this…

    Once the Old Bill (a fond name for British police)had been called on a report of threatening violence with a knife inside the Attic, and they showed up the culprit would have been restrained and searched immediately; if a knife was found on him…off to jail he goes, under charges of possessing an offensive weapon and threatening violence, disorderly conduct…and anything else they could find to charge him with.

    Violence, using weapons, is viewed very seriously in Britian, as is any police call-out to a licensed premises; Britain has a much more organised security system for venue security and the police work very closely with the security personnell.

    Once we call them, that person is gone, if we haven’t already evicted them ourselves: I’ve lost count of the number of dangerous people I’ve dealt with in nightclubs, taking their weapons away, evicting them, or more, if I have to.

    I rarely have to call the police but when I do, I have their full support; the police expect the security personnell to do their job before being called.

    This was obviously no idle threat by this individual inside the Attic, if after being let go by the police, he then stabbed up people in the parking lot….if what this bar manager is saying is true.

    Only a thorough investigation of the matter will turn up all the facts.

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