Citing safety concerns, Scott Hapgood, the UBS trader from Fairfield County who is facing a manslaughter charge in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla, failed to make his scheduled court appearance.
Darien resident Gavin Hapgood, 44, a UBS financial adviser, was arrested for alleged manslaughter after the Royal Anguilla Police Force (RAPF) launched an investigation into the death of Anguilla resident Kenny Mitchel, 27, in April.
Hapgood was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Nov. 11, in Anguilla, but at the advice of his lawyers, he opted not to return to the country for concerns of his personal safety.
In response, the Anguilla Attorney General is seeking an arrest warrant from the high court.
"In consequence of this willful defiance of the High Court Order, a bench warrant will be sought from the High Court Judge for his arrest," the attorney general said. "When this is shortly obtained, this will be circulated through Interpol to police forces around the world. The bail bond of $200,000 has been forfeited. Other formal processes will now commence regarding Hapgood, who is now a fugitive."
Darien Police Chief Donald Anderson said that while his department has no direct involvement in the incident, it is "aware of these latest developments in this matter and we will continue to provide reasonable, professional patrol - both general and focused - and effective response to ensure public safety.
“Going forward, it appears that these ongoing criminal matters will most likely be handled at the United States Department of State level as it involves international criminal charges and a citizen of the United States and the State of Connecticut.”
A spokesman for Hapgood said that he cannot “return to Anguilla to clear his name” because authorities there “will not give him a fair trial or guarantee his safety.”
Even President Donald Trump has chimed in on the case, taking to Twitter to say that “(We) will be looking into the Scott Hapgood case, and the Island of Anguilla,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Something looks and sounds very wrong. I know Anguilla will want to see this case be properly and justly resolved.”
The medical examiner initially ruled Mitchel's causes of death to be prone restraint, a technique that reduces a person's ability to breathe, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso. Hapgood was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
However, according to reports, Mitchel had a lethal amount of cocaine in his system at the time of his death, and the cause of death was ultimately changed to a drug overdose. Despite the change, Hapgood is still facing charges.
Hapgood was released on a $74,000 bond, which sparked outrage in Anguilla. A police spokesman reportedly told the Associated Press that Hapgood’s two daughters were in the room when Mitchell was killed.
Kelcey Kintner, a spokesperson representing Hapgood said that the incident was a case of self-defense.
“Attacked without warning in his family’s hotel room by a maintenance worker who was armed and demanding money, Scott Hapgood acted in self-defense to protect the lives of his young daughters and himself.
“Despite false reports to the contrary, the Hapgoods never called maintenance. Neither invited nor expected, the worker showed up unannounced in uniform at the hotel room, claiming he was there to fix a broken sink before carrying out his sudden, violent attack on the family."
Kintner has called Hapgood, “a dedicated father and husband and respected member of his community, Scott and the members of his family have been traumatized by the assault they survived and are thankful to be alive.”
Hapgood was arrested on Tuesday, April 16 and appeared before the magistrate court the following day, where bail was initially declined. Hapgood was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison until he was released and allowed back in the country.
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