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Georgia Man Accused Of Holding Woman Down In Bonfire At Salt River

SALT RIVER — A Georgia man was charged with domestic violence on Monday.

Michael Morris Steele, 24, of Rossville, Georgia was arrested and charged with assaulting a woman by pushing her into a beach bonfire and holding her into the flame and threatening to kill her, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

At 12:27 a.m. on Monday, the 911 Emergency Call Center received a report of an assault at Salt River, Christiansted, according to the VIPD.

At the scene, the female victim, who was unidentified by police, told officers that she was assaulted by a male acquaintance.

She told officers the attacker had pushed her into a bonfire on the beach, that he became enraged and held her down into the flames and threatened to kill her.

The woman sustained burns to her body. She was transported to Juan F. Luis Hospital and subsequently airlifted to the mainland for further treatment, police said.

Police took Steele into custody and charged him with first-degree assault-domestic violence, mayhem and first-degree attempted murder.

As per the domestic violence statute, no bail was set.

He was remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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