Masked Gunmen Invade Coral Bay Home, Terrorize Couple

Two masked gunmen invaded the historic customs house in Coral Bay and beat the resident of the private home on Sunday evening, April 2.

The resident of the home arrived at the house around 10:45 p.m. on April 2 with his girlfriend, shortly before the men “appeared out of nowhere,” according to the victim’s girlfriend.

“I had just gotten out of the shower,” she said. “I was dressing and looked up to see a man in a black ski mask with a chrome gun pointed at me.”

“He told me to get on the bed,” she continued. “Then he said to get in the closet. I just obeyed and he left me alone.”

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The other masked gunman was restraining the man who lives in the home, who had been in the kitchen preparing food. The gunman in the bedroom went to the kitchen, leaving the woman in the closet.

“I heard the man leave the room, so I got out of the closet,” said the victim’s girlfriend. “I shook the screen out of the bedroom window. I jumped out of the window and ran down to Skinny Legs to call the police.”

Victim Beaten with Bat
While she was running away, the woman said she heard the two men beating her boyfriend and asking for guns and money.

After calling the V.I. Police Department Coral Bay substation, officers responded quickly, according to the woman.

“The police showed up quickly and were very concerned,” she said. “I was impressed with their response. They listened to me and went to the house looking for the men.”

The victim was beaten about the head and legs with a baseball bat, but did not sustain serious injury, according to the woman. “They were hitting him with a baseball club,” she said. “They didn’t debilitate him, but he was bleeding from his head. His shins were swollen too, but they didn’t break his legs.”

The two men duct-taped the victim’s hands, but he still managed to flee his home, according to the girlfriend.

“After they taped him, he wanted to get out of there,” she said. “He pushed them off of him and ran out of the house. His dog diverted them also, allowing him to get away.”

The victim ran into the bush and came out when he saw blue lights from the police cruiser going to the scene, the girlfriend explained.

The gunmen made off with money from the home, and were not apprehended by VIPD officials.

No Information from VIPD
A VIPD forensics team – which must travel from St. Thomas, since St. John does not have one – did not visit the scene the following day, Monday, April 3.

The victim requested the VIPD forensics team to investigate, because he recognized the gunmen’s voices, according to the girlfriend.

“He saw them touch surfaces and asked the police to fingerprint,” she said. “He thinks that he knows who it was.”

It is unclear whether the forensics team ever made it to the house because the new VIPD spokesperson did not have any information about the incident, and Sgt. Thomas Hannah was out of the office last week.

“I really cannot say anything,” said Shawna Richards, the recently hired VIPD spokesperson. “Right now we are in the middle of transitioning and this is my second week on the job. Unfortunately, that transition has not taken place as quickly as it should have.”

“There is an ongoing investigation, but I have no information,” she said.

VIPD Deputy Chief Angelo Hill did not return repeated phone calls from St. John Tradewinds.