A U.S. national who arrived in Cayman via cruise ship last Wednesday was remanded in custody on Friday after a disturbance aboard the ship led to three charges against him.
Aries Raphael Woodfin, 37, pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting a named female and causing her actual bodily harm. He pleaded not guilty to possessing a quantity of ganja allegedly found in his cabin and not guilty to resisting a police officer acting in the execution of his duties. The amount of ganja was not specified nor was the nature of the resistance.
Mr. Woodfin, of a Chicago address, appeared before Magistrate Valdis Foldats. Defense attorney Jonathon Hughes said that an incident aboard the cruise ship led to a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officer boarding the ship and arresting Mr. Woodfin. The attorney said Mr. Woodfin was taken into custody, suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital. He had since been discharged but still had a leg injury.
The defendant, dressed in athletic shorts and jersey, wore a knee brace on his left leg and walked with a pronounced limp.
The magistrate asked Crown counsel Darlene Oko how she was going to deal with witnesses no longer in the jurisdiction. Ms. Oko replied that the officer was on island and he could give evidence regarding both charges to be tried.
The magistrate said he would set the trial as a priority, with the earliest available date being Wednesday, Aug. 8.
Mr. Hughes advised that he was not making any application for bail because Mr. Woodfin’s financial circumstances did not allow him to avail himself of private accommodations.
No details of the incident leading to Mr. Woodfin’s arrest were revealed in court. The assault charges do specify that this offense occurred on July 25 in George Town.
A press release from police indicated that officers had responded to a report of a disturbance on board the vessel after a man and woman “had been involved in an altercation in international waters.”
The release stated further that the woman was transported to Cayman Islands Hospital for treatment and later released.
The Cayman Compass asked the police press officer whether the woman had left on the cruise ship, but was told that the location of victims cannot be disclosed. There were no civilians in court when Mr. Woodfin was being dealt with.