Police have charged Jamal Freeman of Fat Hogs Bay after having identified him as one of the assailants who entered a yacht docked near the Penn’s Landing and discharged a firearm at the yacht owner who was onboard at the time.
He was detained and taken into custody yesterday morning during the East End/Long Look Rise and Shine Tramp. He was arrested on Friday, 1 August, but escaped police custody.
Shortly following the burglary and shooting, clients of the Penn Landing Marina raised a $10,000 reward for information that can lead Police to the identity of the assailants.
The Manager of the marina said, at the time, that clients of the marina were disturbed not only by the unwelcomed intrusion but by the level of violence which was perpetrated against that facility’s guest and are working along with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force to find those who committed the crime.
“My clients and I came up with the idea to raise money to put a reward out to try to get people to report if they know something about this incident. I think this (incident) is very bad for East End; this is very bad for the BVI; this is very bad for the tourism industry. In a way, everyone on the island benefits from these customers, the Marina Manager noted.
The yacht owner and victim in the incident shared his sadness at the events of that evening.
“I’ve been a visitor to the BVI for 18 years now and one of the attractions here has been always this sense of a safe and warm environment. This particular incident is very disturbing and actually makes my wife and I very sad.
On the evening of February 7, the yacht owner, docked just outside Penn’s Landing, reported that he woke to find two masked men onboard his boat attempting to enter his cabin. He shouted at them and they quickly exited the vessel, jumped onto a dinghy and made off. Upon fleeing, one of the assailants fired a shot at the boat which struck the metal mast. The occupant of the boat was uninjured.
Police are still looking for the second assailant in this incident and therefore are appealing to the public for information. Persons with information can call the Intelligence Unit at 468-9339 or anonymously call the Crimestopper Hotline in Miami at 800-TIPS, 800-8477.