The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service arrested a suspect Friday in connection with what it termed a “criminal attack” against one of its officers’ personal property following last week’s quadruple-fatal two-car smash in East End district.
Criminal charges were filed against the man late Monday.
The suspect, 30, a resident of East End, was arrested on suspicion of damage to property. According to an RCIPS press release issued at 9:20 p.m. Monday, the man was charged with damage to property, as well as ‘causing harassment, alarm or distress’ and was due to appear in court Tuesday.
The officer was the initial responder to the May 2 crash on Austin Conolly Drive that killed three U.K. tourists and a 22-year-old Jamaican man. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the officer’s private vehicle was vandalized outside his home on the night of May 3, about 24 hours after the crash.
Police have repeatedly denied that the officer was involved in any chase of the Honda Accord, which the RCIPS said was speeding along the road toward Bodden Town district. Police Chief Inspector Frank Owens said the police car, which was headed in the opposite direction, saw the speeding vehicle, switched his overhead lights on and turned around. By then, the fatal crash had already occurred, police said.
The crash killed the 22-year-old man driving the Honda, identified as Shanroy Delapena of Jamaica. Police said two other people were riding in the trunk of the car, an 11-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man. They were seriously injured in the crash.
U.K. vacationers Ian Mansell, 72, his wife Pamela, 74, and Mrs. Mansell’s sister, Marlene Wright, died in the collision.
The mother of the 11-year-old boy injured in the crash, Jessica McFarlane, told the Cayman Compass Monday that her son, Joshua, had a different story from the one police were telling, when he returned home from the hospital Thursday night.
Ms. McFarlane said her son had been on a boat that night and told her he was riding in the Honda’s trunk on the return trip because he was wet. She said Joshua had noted police “watching them from shore” before they had gotten out of the water. Several conchs were found in the Honda following the crash and it is believed the men were in the water taking conch before the accident.
When contacted by phone Monday, Ms. McFarlane said she stood by the comments her son made that indicated officers had been watching the boy and the men he was with, and that she believed “every word my son said” regarding what had happened before the fatal crash.
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne lambasted the attack against his officer in a statement released last Thursday.
“I find this incident very troubling, where an officer is diligently going about his work to protect and serve the community, is a first responder and witness to a tragic motor vehicle accident with multiple deaths, and in his own district where he lives and works, is targeted with the threat of violence and damage to his personal property,” Mr. Byrne said. “This is akin to an attack on Cayman society and the criminal justice system. This is reprehensible and every effort will be brought to bear to locate and arrest those responsible.”
Police have said the cause of the May 2 crash was speeding.
The 26-year-old passenger, identified as Fitzroy Green of Jamaica, is still hospitalized. According to police, he’s been moved out of the hospital’s critical care unit and his condition was said to be improving.