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High-Ranking VING Officer Charged With Drunk Driving On Melvin H. Evans Highway

KINGSHILL — A high-ranking officer in the Virgin Islands National Guard was cited for drunk driving in St. Croix on Sunday evening.

David McCoy Ginn, a lieutenant colonel in the VING was arrested at 6:30 p.m. Sunday and charged with negligent driving and driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

McCoy Ginn, 40, of Daytona Beach, Florida, posted his Virgin Islands driver’s license in lieu of $1,000 bail. He appeared in Virgin Islands Superior Court for his advice-of-rights hearing Monday.

According to the probable cause fact sheet, an officer traveling on Melvin H. Evans Highway on Sunday evening observed a blue Jeep Wrangler veer into the right lane without any indicator. The vehicle then reportedly drove in the middle of the eastbound lane blocking both lanes. The officer also observed the driver apply sudden brakes causing the vehicle to skid in the intersection while approaching the East Airport Road traffic light. The vehicle then made a sudden left turn onto East Airport Road and the officer immediately activated their lights and siren to stop the driver. 

The fact sheet states that when the driver got out of the vehicle, the officer observed the individual swaying and holding on to his vehicle for support. The officer also noted a strong smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath and person and observed two empty plastic cups in the center console of the vehicle. When asked his name the driver identified himself as Lieutenant Colonel David Ginn and provided his military ID. The officer then asked where he was coming from, to which Ginn responded that he had just left Leatherback Brewing and had asked a friend to take him home, but the friend was not ready to leave. According to the officer’s statement, the driver claimed that he had only consumed two beers. 

The fact sheet states that Ginn attempted to plead with the officer stating, “If you do this to me you are going to end my career. We all make mistakes.” According to the officer, Ginn then admitted that he was wrong for driving while intoxicated. The officer administered three standardized field sobriety tests, all of which Ginn failed. The fact sheet states that during his interaction with the officer, Ginn started talking in an aggressive manner, instructing the officer to call the governor, his commanding officer, and a specific police officer. He further stated, “I have a top security clearance. I want the Chief of Police here immediately.” 

After failing the field tests Ginn was placed under arrest and later refused to perform a chemical test. He subsequently posted his license in lieu of bail which was set at $1,000. At his advisement hearing on Monday, Judge Ernest Morris Jr. informed Ginn that he faces maximum incarceration of 1 year and a minimum fine of $500 if found guilty of driving under the influence. The charge of negligent driving carries a jail term of 6 months, a maximum fine of $200, or both. 

Ginn’s attorney asked that he be released on his own recognizance and that his license not be suspended while the matter remains pending. According to the attorney, the defendant must be able to drive to execute his duties as a member of the VI National Guard and also needs to cater to the needs of his disabled minor son. The judge indicated that suspension of the defendant’s license was not required under the relevant statute. He then ruled that Ginn’s continued release would be permitted on the posting of $1000 cash and that his license will be returned to him once the amount is paid.

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Unidentified St. Croix Man Dies In Single-Car Accident On Melvin Evans Highway

FREDERIKSTED — An unidentified man was killed in a single-vehicle accident on St. Croix late last night, authorities said.

On December 16, at 11:10 p.m., the 911 Emergency Call Center dispatched officers to the Melvin H. Evans Highway, in the vicinity of Estate Cane Carlton, to investigate a single-car accident at 11:10 p.m. Thursday, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that the male driver — operating a white 2009 Ford Ranger heading westbound — lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

The driver, not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and died on the scene, according to Derima.

The driver has yet to be identified by police.

The VIPD’s Traffic Investigation Bureau is investigating the cause of the accident.

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Clifton Hill Man Accused Of Kidnapping Man At Gunpoint Along Highway: VIPD

KINGSHILL — A St. Croix man is behind bars this morning after police said he kidnapped another man at gunpoint along the Melvin Evans Highway.

Talibe Suleiman, 25, of Clifton Hill, was arrested at 6:28 p.m. Wednesday and charged with first-degree kidnapping, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“Suleiman allegedly forced an adult male against his will at gunpoint from the roadside of the Melvin Evans Highway — vicinity of the old HOVENSA Training School — into his vehicle, then headed west,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

The victim was located shortly after the incident at the Lorraine Village Apartments with lacerations to the head, according to Derima. He received treatment at the Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center.

Sulieman, located at his residence, was placed under arrest, the VIPD said.

Bail for Sulieman was set at $75,000. Unable to post bail, he was placed in the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending his Advice of Rights hearing.

St. Croix District Chief of Police Sean Santos, Sr. thanked members of the community who came forward with information to cause the quick apprehension.

“We have the ability to close these cases very quickly when the community assists. Let’s keep up the collaboration, and we can make our islands safer,” Chief Santos said. He encourages the community to contact the VIPD with information on crimes by calling 911, the Crime TipLine at (340) 778-4950, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS.

All individuals listed as arrested or charged with a crime in this report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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St. Croix Woman Asks Wrong-Way Driver To Come Forward With Facebook Appeal

KINGSHILL — A St. Croix woman whose car was run off the road near the Island Crossing Shopping Center put out a personal appeal to the driver who caused the crash this weekend.

Carol “Nah Easy” Francois of Frederiksted said that she was a passenger in her vehicle driving east to west on the Melvin Evans Highway between the Home Depot and D & J’s Shooting Gallery between midnight and 1 a.m. on August 21 when a wrong way driver forced her car into the brush at the side of the road to avoid a head-on collision.

“If anyone was in the vicinity area (where) my car was ran (sic) off the road by someone driving on the opposite side of their lane causing it to go into the bushes,” Francois said on Facebook. “Now I don’t have who ran my car off the road  …I’ll be taking a complete loss..it hurts cause I invested so much money for it to b thrown away. .I brought my car from Texas two weeks ago. I had my car from 2016…pls share and help me anyone knows anything pls I just want their insurance cover my car ….thats it…no charges nothing plss.”

St. Croix Woman Asks Wrong-Way Driver To Come Forward With Facebook Appeal
Carol’s car after the crash

Francois made her appeal in the Facebook group “What’s Going on St. Croix? last night.

“Oh no so sorry to hear that …thank God you’re OK,” Yolanda Edwin said on Facebook.

The Virgin Islands Police Department typically does not respond to citizen’s complaints voiced on social media or requests to comment on such complaints from reporters.

St. Croix Woman Asks Wrong-Way Driver To Come Forward With Facebook Appeal
Carol “Nah Easy” Francois in her vehicle before the crash