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VIPD: Accused Armed KFC Robber Akemoi Simmonds Was ‘Compliant’ With Cops

CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man has been arrested for his alleged role in an attempted robbery of a fast food restaurant two days ago, authorities said.

Akemoi J. Simmonds, 18, of Estate Rattan has been charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, the Virgin Islands Police Department said tonight.

The 911 Emergency Call Center received reports of an attempted robbery at the KFC-Pizza Hut restaurant in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center about 9:09 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the VIPD.

“An officer patrolling in the area observed two suspicious males, dressed in black,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. “The officer, aware of the robbery attempt, made contact with the two black males in the vicinity of Estate Strawberry, identified himself and directed the individuals to stop where they were.”

One of the suspects, later identified as Simmonds, complied with the directions, Derima said.

“The second suspect, in possession of a firearm, discharged multiple rounds at the officer while running away from the officer,” he said. “The officer evaded the gunshots and the second suspect escaped.”

Simmonds was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and subsequently arrested, according to police.

Bail for Simmonds was set at $25, 000. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

This case is currently under active investigation.

If anyone has any information on this matter, please call 911, the Crime Tip Line at (340) 778-4950, or the paying anonymous tip line Crime Stoppers USVI at 1(800) 222-8477.

By 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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.