Police Chase, Arrest Viya Employee Accused in Gunplay

Police are trying to piece together the circumstances that led to the arrest of a phone company worker, accused of firing a handgun at another individual while on the job. The suspect was arrested Friday afternoon on St. John at the end of what police called an islandwide car chase.

A spokesperson for Viya confirmed over the weekend that the individual now in custody was employed by the company at the time of the incident, but had no further comment.

Police spokesperson Toby Derima identified the suspect as 24-year-old Rashad Creque of Contant, St. Thomas. “Creque is accused of discharging a firearm at an unknown person. While driving his employer’s vehicle, he led officers on a pursuit around the island of St. John. After a brief attempt to flee officers, Creque was apprehended with a firearm being found in his possession,” Derima said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The chase is believed to have ended on St. John’s Bordeaux Mountain, six-and-a-half miles east of Cruz Bay. Residents arriving home that evening said they found a white bucket truck obstructing the roadway traveling south from Centerline Road.

Evidence of Friday’s car chase appeared in the parking area in front of Zone D Police Command the following day: a white bucket truck with a dented bumper and deep scratches across the passenger side door.

St. John Deputy Chief of Police Vivianne Newton praised the officers for taking action that led to Creque’s arrest.

“I am happy that we were able to catch him without serious injuries to himself or our officers,” Newton said.

Bail for Creque was set at $50,000, which he was not able to post. He was turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending an initial court appearance.

A Viya executive on Sunday acknowledged the suspect was working for the phone company on St. John on Friday. But Viya Vice President Jennifer Matarangas-King declined to say what kind of work Creque was doing or why he was carrying a weapon while on the job.

“Viya is aware of the incident that occurred on Oct. 9, 2020, involving the unauthorized use of one of its vehicles on St. John, and we are grateful to the Virgin Islands Police Department for their efforts in apprehending the individual. We can confirm the driver was an employee of Viya but have no further comment at this time. Viya continues to cooperate with the police in their investigation,” Matarangas-King said.