A Connecticut man has been charged with manslaughter in Anguilla after a fight with a resort worker resulted in the man’s death. But the US banker claims it was self-defence and said he’d do it again.
Gavin Scott Hapgood, 44, a UBS banker, got into a fight with Kenny Mitchel, 27, in April and killed him.
Mitchel, a maintenance worker at the upscale Malliouhana resort, where Hapgood and his family were staying, died in Anguilla on April 13. His death certificate states that he was killed by “prone restraint, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.”
But Hapgood maintained Monday, August 19, that he was defending himself and his two young daughters, who were with him in the hotel, from a “crazed and desperate” attacker, and said he’s looking forward to clearing his name.
He told CBS News: “I was on vacation relaxing with my family and attacked at knifepoint in a private hotel room. All that I did was defend my young daughters in front of an attacker that was crazed and desperate and I have to just hold onto that fact. I would do it again and thank God I was in the room when he came.”
After the April attack, a spokesperson for Hapgood said Mitchel “showed up unannounced in uniform at the hotel room around 4 p.m., claiming he was there to fix a broken sink before carrying out his sudden, violent attack.”
The spokesperson said at the time Mitchel was armed and demanded money.
Hapgood was arrested four days after the attack and initially denied bail. He was later released on a $74,000 bond after his lawyer appealed to the High Court. The move sparked outrage on the island.
Hapgood said: “It’s certainly the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. Not just the attack but the way I was treated on the island, the time I spent in jail, the threats since, the frustration with dealing with the local judicial process and the local government.”
Hapgood’s family claims he was stabbed several times and had bruises over his arms and chest. Family spokeswoman Kelcey Kitner also claimed Mitchel was alive the last time Hapgood saw him.
Kitner said: “As Hapgood left to receive emergency care at the hospital, the attacker was alive and being taken away by medical staff for treatment.”
She also rebutted claims about when Mitchel died.
Mitchel’s autopsy showed he was beaten and choked to death. A toxicology report revealed Mitchel had cocaine, marijuana and other drugs in his system. His blood-alcohol level was two times the legal limit in the U.S.
However, Mitchel’s mother, Rina, said her son had no history of violent behavior and that he was a considerate man and loving father.
Hapgood is currently in the United States but is scheduled to go back to Anguilla on Wednesday ahead of his court appearance on Thursday, CBS reported.
Anguilla is a British territory in the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The island is known for its rich and famous vacationers.