CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man was arrested for threatening to kill National Park Service rangers, trying to avoid capture by swimming to a sailboat, and clinging to its dinghy while the owner rowed to officers waiting on shore, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.
Uriah “Kunta” Gaston, 35, of Estate Strawberry, was arrested by NPS rangers Tuesday and charged with resisting and intimidating a federal officer. Gaston was released Wednesday on his personal recognizance, U.S. District Court records indicate.
Gabriel Laurencin Jr. and David Stack said they were on foot patrol at the Christiansted National Historic Site when they stopped to check in with the site superintendent. As the three men and a volunteer were talking about noon, Gaston walked by the fort “mumbling words” before shouting an obscene death threat at a sixth man walking by.
Laurencin and Stack said that Gaston “lunged” at them and was carrying a “golf club in his hand raised above his head.” The park rangers persuaded the attacking man to put down the club and sit down.
When asked for his identification, Gaston, who is black, produced identification that depicted a white man. Gaston ran away from them when they said that he would be frisked.
The two park rangers chased Gaston on foot as he ran behind Fort Christiansvaern and then jumped into Gallows Bay harbor and swam towards a boat called “So It Goes.”
When the owner of the boat, Robert Wise, saw Gaston coming towards him he jumped into his dingy and rowed towards shore.
The rangers called in support from the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) who kept an eye on Gaston until he tired and swam back to shore to be arrested.