Tourists and residents alike came out in droves to enjoy Mas, Music and a Cultural Mix for Festival 2006, the festive carnival time on Love City which culminated on July 4.
Although the festivities themselves went off without a hitch, the reigning Miss St. John Festival Queen found some meleé in her festival mix as she was assaulted in a brawl involving the relative of a losing queen contestant. Moremi Aderohunmu, who won the late-June pageant, was brutally attacked in a Cruz Bay night club during the early morning hours of July 5.
According to the report, Aderohunmu stated that at approximately 1 a.m. on July 5, she and her friends were at Lizards Landing night club when the suspect approached her and bumped her while on her way to the bathroom, said V.I. Police Department spokesperson Shawna Richards.
When the suspect came out of the bathroom, there were words exchanged between the suspect and Aderohunmus friends, Richards said.
Night Club Brawl
The exchange of words quickly escalated into an all-out brawl, Richards explained.
Aderohunmu stated that the suspect struck her in the face and a fight ensued between the suspect, her friends and Aderohunmu and her friends, said Richards.
Aderohunmu was struck about the face and body by the suspect, Richards added. She suffered several scrapes and bruises about the face and body but stated that she did not need medical attention.
The suspect, a 17-year-old St. John resident, is a minor and VIPD officials cannot release her name, according to Richards. She was arrested at 2 a.m. on July 5, charged with simple assault and battery in connection with the fight at Lizards Landing and released into the custody of a family member, the VIPD spokesperson reported.
Losing Contestants Cousin
The act was not only brutal by its own merits, but it was made worse by the fact the suspect is a relative of a losing Miss St. John contestant.
This has never happened before, said Enid Doway, who heads both the Love City Princess and Queen pageants for the St. John Festival and Cultural Organization. Its totally outrageous. Why does it have to come to this? Whoever the judges choose as Miss St. John, the community must accept her, Doway explained.
Moremi didnt pronounce herself queen, she said. Shes the one who was chosen and the community must deal with that.
Each contestant has an equal chance of winning the crown, according to Doway. In the beginning of the competition the community knows that each girl has a 25 percent chance of winning, she said. It was a wonderful show. Up until the last segment, each of the girls could have won they were equally matched. There was bad blood between Aderohunmu and the suspect long before the Miss St. John contest, according to Doway.
To be totally honest, Im not sure if it was because Moremi won, said Doway. There was an on-going feud with this woman involved.
Honestly, I dont believe that the contest had anything to do with this, the pageant director added.
Despite the accuseds insistence of innocence, any attacks on the reigning Miss St. John are unacceptable, Doway continued.
The point is that she is the queen, said Doway. Shes the ambassador of the island and people should respect that.
First Violence in Pageants History
This marks the first, and hopefully the last, time that a Miss St. John has been attacked, Doway explained.
This was the 52nd year of the Miss St. John pageant, and nothing like this has ever happened, she said. I hope that nothing like this ever happens again. I really hope that the community can just accept who the judges choose.
No one has the right to touch anyone else, Doway said.