Incidents had gone quiet
After a spate of violent attacks on Grand Cayman beaches in early 2011, similar incidents being reported within the past 18 months appeared to have dropped off to nearly nothing.
However, 2012 ended on a down note when a man who police said was a tourist was assaulted and robbed Thursday afternoon in a remote section of Colliers Beach in East End.
At press time Sunday, there had been no word on any arrest of the two suspects involved.
Police said the victim, a Japanese man, was punched in the face by one of the suspects before he had cash and other items taken from his rental vehicle.
The Colliers area is a fairly remote section of East End located just south of Morritt’s Resort.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the victim ran to the road after he was assaulted and stopped a passing vehicle for assistance. The vehicle took the victim to Tukka Restaurant where he reported the crime around 4pm Thursday.
The man described his attackers as between 20 and 30 years old, having dark brown complexions and being between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall.
The visitor suffered minor injuries to his face and said he didn’t want to be taken to the hospital.
The incident bears some similarity to an attack in early 2011 that occurred on Barefoot Beach, a ways north of the Colliers location.
In that attack, a couple that had parked their rental car on a path off Queens Highway were confronted around noon by three attackers. All three had their faces covered by T-shirts and two were armed; one with a baseball bat and another with a knuckle-duster.
Police said one of the robbers grabbed the male tourist, placed him in a headlock and demanded cash. The victims then handed over a wallet containing a small sum of cash.
As the suspects were leaving the scene, RCIPS investigators said the men smashed the window of the couple’s rental car with the baseball bat and stole a camera. The man and woman were not injured in the incident, but police said they were left shaken by the ordeal. Michael Travis McLaughlin was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment after pleading guilty in December 2011 to the robbery of the two tourists at Barefoot Beach on 7 February, 2011. Two other men accused in the attack pleaded not guilty and were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Seven Mile Beach
The far busier end of Grand Cayman, the famous Seven Mile Beach corridor, also had its share of troubles in early 2011 with both visitors and residents being attacked, forcing one local outdoor bar owner to change security at his monthly “Full Moon Party”.
Since then, little has been reported in the way of serious crime, although the Caymanian Compass understands there was a knife attack on a woman in the general area early this December. However, that incident has never been made public by police.
After three stabbings in Grand Cayman’s Public Beach area since January 2011, Handel Whittaker said he’d had enough.
The owner of Calico Jack’s on Seven Mile Beach said in April 2011 that large, wide-open monthly parties hosted at the beach bar-restaurant would be ringed off with an 8-foot wire fence.
Mr. Whittaker said security checks at the fence entrance with metal-detector wands would be put in place and overhead guide-lights would be installed to illuminate darker areas around the beach bar, especially near the bathroom area. The sand lot that is the Public Beach parking area would also be better illuminated in days to come, he said.
“It is sad,” Mr. Whittaker said in an interview with the Caymanian Compass last year. “But we’re right next to the Public Beach … and we can’t dictate who comes on the beach. It’s ridiculous that tourists or locals can’t come onto the beach without fear.”