Man Who Kidnapped Pregnant Girlfriend At Gunpoint Arrested After She Escapes
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man is in jail after kidnapping a pregnant woman at gunpoint and terrorizing her so badly that she jumped out of his moving vehicle on Donkey Hill, authorities said.
Simon L. Rawlins, Jr., 33, of Estate Bovoni, was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, kidnapping, simple assault, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, and disturbance of the peace, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
“He’s facing a lot of time if convicted of these charges,” Assistant Virgin Islands Attorney General John Barraco said.
Rawlins has a 2006 felony conviction for third-degree burglary. Barraco requested bail be set at $75,000.
Superior Court Magistrate Judge Carolyn Hermon-Percell agreed, saying that Rawlins must post the full amount in cash or $150,000 worth of property in order to be released from jail while he awaits trial.
According to police, the victim called 911 at around 9 p.m. Saturday and said Rawlins was outside a home she was staying at in Frenchman’s Bay, banging on the door and screaming that “I’m going to kill you if you don’t come out the house.”
When Rawlins entered, the victim said she hid in a closet and “heard what sounded like the racking of a gun,” according to a sworn affidavit filed by police.
The victim told Rawlins she was on the phone with police, and he took the phone and threatened to kill her, her child, and the owner of the home, and said that “if the police come, I will kill you and myself.”
The victim said Rawlins ordered her to leave with him, and as they were driving down Donkey Hill, “she saw a police vehicle with flashing lights and jumped out of Mr. Rawlins’ truck.”
The victim was transported to Schneider Hospital for treatment, and Rawlins drove off.
On Sunday, Rawlins went to the police station where he admitted to threatening the victim with a gun and told police he would show them where he had hidden the weapon under a rock behind a home in Bolongo. Police said they searched the area and recovered a loaded magazine in the bush, but did not find the gun.
Rawlins told police the victim had a family dispute and left her home to stay with an ex-boyfriend, which angered him because he felt it was inappropriate, court records indicate.
Rawlins said that while driving down Donkey Hill, he became nervous when passing police because his vehicle is not registered or insured. He drove off when the victim jumped out and ran towards police “because he had a large amount of weed on him and he did not want to go back to jail,” the police affidavit states.
Rawlins told police he was angry the victim was sleeping at an ex-boyfriend’s home, but when police questioned the man, they learned he hadn’t been staying there with the victim present.
The man told police he knew the victim was having family problems and that Rawlins had threatened to kill her “as recently as Friday,” so he agreed to stay elsewhere for a few days and let her sleep at his house so she would be safe.
When he watched surveillance footage from a Ring alarm system at the home, the man told police he could hear the victim screaming and Rawlins had a gun in his hand and was “shouting that he was going to kill them both.”
Police reviewed the surveillance footage and also saw Rawlins “looking out on the porch with a firearm in his hand,” and telling the victim, “Let’s go.”
Police met with the victim, who is an adult female, at the Schneider Regional Medical Center on June 12, according to the VIPD.
“The victim stated that Rawlins, who is her boyfriend, found her at a friend’s residence and forced her into his truck at gunpoint,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. “The victim stated that she managed to escape and approached officers to advise them of what happened.”
Rawlins surrendered to authorities without incident on Sunday morning, after learning that he was wanted by police. He was subsequently arrested at 11:30 a.m. that day, Derima said.
No bail was offered for Rawlins in accordance with the territory’s domestic violence laws. He was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.
All individuals listed as arrested or charged with a crime in this report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.