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Oswald Harris Court Attempted Murder Suspect Surrenders

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The suspect in a Sunday night shooting at Oswald Harris Court surrendered to authorities about four hours after police issued a wanted poster for his arrest.

Donte C. Joseph, 31, of Estate Tutu, was arrested at 5:50 p.m. today and charged with first-degree assault, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Officers from the Richard Callwood Command were dispatched at 7:09 p.m. Sunday to the area of Oswald Harris Court regarding a report of shots fired.

“Investigation revealed that there was a verbal altercation between two individuals that then became physical the victim, a male individual was shot multiple times about the body,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said. “The victim received several gunshot wounds to the chest, flank, and leg areas.”

The victim was transported to the Schneider Regional Medical Center via private vehicle and was seen by Emergency Room Personnel, according to Dratte.

The VIPD issued an “attempted murder” wanted poster for Joseph at 1:05 p.m. today, but used an incorrect photo of the suspect which police later recalled at 4:31 p.m. today.

“An updated report will be provided pending the ongoing investigation,” police said, adding that it was possible the charges against Joseph will be upgraded once the ongoing investigation is completed.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau Detectives R. Velazquez or S. Rhymer  at 340-774-2211 or Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477.

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. Thomas’ Abdul Ghaffar Abiff Charged With Rape Of Woman At Housing Project

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A man accused of a rape last month at a St. Thomas housing project has been taken into official police custody.

Abdul Ghaffar Abiff, 25, was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree rape, first-degree unlawful sexual contact, third-degree assault, simple assault and disturbance of the peace, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

On Sunday, February 6, 2022, officers of the Richard Callwood Command were dispatched to the area of Oswald Harris Court, in response to a call for an assault, according to the VIPD.

“The investigation revealed that a sexual assault had been committed against a female by an unidentified male,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said. “Investigation further revealed that 25-year-old Abdul Ghaffar ABIFF aka “Ghaffar ABIFF” was the alleged suspect of the sexual assault.”

A warrant for Abiff’s arrest was requested by police from the Magistrate Division of the Superior Court.

The Superior Court issued a warrant for arrest on Abiff on Friday and he voluntarily surrendered himself to detectives with the Criminal Investigation Bureau yesterday.

Bail for Abiff was set at $75,000. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending further court action.

This case is currently under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Any persons having information regarding this incident are asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211. You can also contact 911, Crime Stoppers USVI 1-800-222-8477.

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Police Investigating After Man Stabbed At Oswald Harris Court During Fight: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The VIPD Criminal Investigation Bureau is investigating an assault which occurred during a fight at Oswald Harris Court on Wednesday evening, authorities said.

The 911 Emergency Call Center was notified that a male victim who had sustained a stab wound to the neck was at the Schneider Regional Medical Center seeking medical attention about 6:44 p.m., the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“The victim told police, he was involved in a physical altercation at Oswald Harris Court moments earlier, which resulted in the injury,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

Detectives are seeking the community’s assistance to help solve this crime.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211 or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS Crime stoppers may be also accessed anonymously, and online at p3tips.com.

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St. Thomas Man Wanted For Rape Since October Arrested On Warrant: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man wanted on rape charges since last month has been arrested by police, authorities said.

Carl Gumbs, 30, of Oswald Harris Court, was arrested at 4:23 p.m. Monday and charged with first-degree rape and first-degree unlawful sexual contact, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“Gumbs is accused of sexually assaulting an adult female on July 31,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

Bail for Gumbs was set at $35,000. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

Police issued a wanted poster for Gumbs on October 22. He was arrested based on a warrant issue by the Superior Court.

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Charlotte Amalie East Woman Charged With Cashing $20,000 Bad Check: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Members of the VIPD Economic Crime Unit arrested Marina S. Anthony, 34, of Oswald Harris Court, at 10:12 a.m. today on a warrant charging her with drawing and delivering worthless checks, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

On or about July 26, Anthony allegedly deposited a fraudulent check into her personal account and withdrew over $20,000 before being intercepted by authorities, according to the VIPD.

Anthony was turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections, pending her Advice of Rights hearing, after failing to post $30,000 bail.

Anyone with additional information regarding this case is urged to contact 911, the Economic Crime Unit at (340) 774-2211 extension 5916 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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KEYSTONE COPS! Project Man In Handcuffs Steals Police Car And Takes It For A Joyride

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A project man under arrest and in handcuffs took advantage of cops not paying attention to steal a police car and take it for a joyride to the St. Thomas airport, authorities said.

Rashawn Brooks, 42, of Oswald Harris Court, was arrested at 6:35 p.m. Monday and charged with with unauthorized use of a vehicle and reckless endangerment, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.”

“Brooks  – detained by officers while investigating another matter and while handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser at the Bassanio G. David, Sr. Command – managed to climb into the front seat and took control of the vehicle. Brooks, traveling east on Julian Jackson Drive, was quickly apprehended near the King Airport stoplights and placed under arrest,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

The brief, ill-fated, 30-minute escape attempt resulted in officers charging Brooks with additional crimes on top of the assault he was initially arrested for.

The incident occurred at around 6:00 p.m. Monday, when officers called for backup on an assault investigation at Brewers Bay beach.

Officer Chuck Williams responded and located the suspect, later identified as Brooks, and took him into custody, according to the probable cause affidavit Williams filed.

He drove Brooks to the nearby Bassanio G. Davis Sr. Command, where Williams got out and stood talking to other officers with Brooks still in the back seat.

“While the defendant was in the back seat of my police cruiser he managed to move his hands from his back to his front while still handcuffed,” Williams wrote. “Investigation further revealed that the defendant managed to gain entry into the front of my police cruiser from the back where he was seated by coming through the opening in the middle of the case of same that separates the front from the rear.”

Still handcuffed, Brooks gripped the wheel and sped off.

While he was talking to three other officers, “I saw the defendant in the front seat of my police cruiser with his two hands still handcuffed driving the vehicle taking off at a high rate of speed traveling eastbound on Julian Jackson Drive,” Williams wrote.

Police pursued the vehicle and took Brooks into custody again when he stopped a short distance later near a laundromat.

In addition to simple assault, police charged Brooks with unauthorized use of a vehicle, reckless endangerment, escape from custody, and interfering with an officer. Unable to post $25,000, Brooks was jailed until his advice-of-rights hearing Wednesday.

In court, Assistant Virgin Islands Attorney General John Barraco questioned Williams about the incident, to provide additional details not contained in the affidavit.

Williams said police initially responded to a report that Brooks had assaulted another man with a glass Hennessy bottle.

Through his public defender Frederick Johnson, Brooks disputed that, saying it was actually a plastic mayonnaise jar he’d grabbed from a food truck.

Williams also said that after Brooks got behind the wheel of the cruiser, “he took off at a high rate of speed,” and “I observed him trying to get control of the steering wheel with the handcuffs still on in front of him.”

Barraco said Brooks has a significant criminal history that includes aggravated assault on a peace officer and an outstanding warrant in Florida, which may be related.

Johnson said Brooks was born and raised on St. Thomas, and spent 20 years on the mainland before returning in 2019.

Magistrate Judge Henry Carr III said his behavior “speaks loudly of disrespect for law enforcement officers.”

But he agreed not to impose a high monetary bail after Johnson argued strenuously that the local bail system needs reform.

Johnson noted that “down here in the Virgin Islands, we don’t have bail bondsmen,” and poor defendants shouldn’t be jailed just because they can’t come up with cash. “It’s just an impediment to clients, it doesn’t actually do anything.”

Carr set bail at $10,000 and said he would allow Brooks to post 10 percent, or $1,000 cash. If released, Brooks must live in Oswald Harris Court with his mother, who will act as his third-party custodian.

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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Male Nurse Nabbed With Machine Gun Faces ‘Significant’ Jail Time After Arrest

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A male nurse with no criminal history is facing significant prison time after police say they found illegal guns in his apartment at Oswald Harris Court, as first reported in the Daily News.

E’Jaiey Grant, 24, of Charlotte Amalie, was arrested Friday and charged with possession of a machine gun, possession of ammunition, and two counts of possession of a firearm. Unable to post $50,000 bail, he was jailed until his advice-of-rights hearing Monday.

The case began at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday as a detective was searching for a vehicle involved in a carjacking in the area on July 8, according to a sworn affidavit filed by police.

The detective drove into Oswald Harris Court and “immediately tried to radio for back-up assistance, but his radio unit was malfunctioning,” court records indicate.

Looking in his rear-view mirror, the detective saw a man firing a gun. As he began to get out of his vehicle to challenge the gunman, the detective “heard additional gun shots being fired from an automatic weapon on the driver’s side of his vehicle.”

The detective retreated, quickly closing his vehicle’s door. As he drove out of Oswald Harris Court, the gunman “kept shooting at him and striking his vehicle,” the police affidavit said.

Central Dispatch received a call reporting the gunfire at 11:45 p.m., and officers traveled to the scene to collect and process evidence.

Police received a tip identifying the apartment that two shooters had run into, and on Friday, police contacted the Virgin Islands Housing Authority and obtained a copy of a “Notice to Quit” for the occupants, which had been served two days earlier on July 21.

With the notice, several members of the Virgin Islands Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service and agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives went to the apartment and made contact with Grant, who refused to say whether anyone else was in the home, according to court records.

Officers “conducted a protective sweep of the apartment for officer safety,” and “observed a Ziploc bag which contained one unspent cartridge in plain view on the floor of the apartment,” the police affidavit said.

Police said they also found an empty black rifle magazine with a 30- to 40-round capacity on a nightstand, and a “black pistol rifle” was found under the bed.

At 5:50 p.m. Friday, Magistrate Judge Carolyn Hermon-Percell granted a search warrant via telephone, and police took Grant and the man who was in the apartment with him into custody to be interviewed.

Grant waived his right to remain silent and gave a recorded video statement in which “he confessed to being the owner of the two recovered firearms,” according to the affidavit. The other man has not been charged with a crime.

In court Monday, Territorial Public Defender Frederick Johnson said police had incorrectly charged Grant with possession of a machine gun.

A detective testified that a machine gun is capable of firing more than 12 times without reloading.

But Johnson argued the gun is not capable of firing multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger — which is required for a weapon to be defined as an automatic machine gun under the Virgin Islands Code.

Hermon-Percell found probable cause for all charges filed by police.

Assistant Virgin Islands Attorney General Brenda Scales asked for bail to remain as set.

Grant has no previous criminal history and has a certified nursing assistant license and is a year away from completing his requirements to be a licensed practical nurse. A lifelong Virgin Islands resident, Grant also has his own business reselling shoes, Johnson said.

Hermon-Percell acknowledged that it was Grant’s first arrest, but said he’s facing “significant” time behind bars for the firearm charges.

She maintained bail at $50,000, but said Grant may post 10 percent in cash, or $5,000, in order to be released from jail.

By SUZANNE CARLSON/The Virgin Islands Daily News

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Oswald Harris Court Man Arrested on Illegal Gun Charge: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man has been arrested on an illegal weapons charge, authorities said.

E’Jaiey Grant, 23, of Oswald Harris Court, charging him with possession of an unlicensed firearm at 8:49 p.m. Friday, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“During an inspection of a residence, police officers discovered several firearms. Grant was placed under arrest after admitting to owning the firearms and failing to show that he was licensed to possess the firearms,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

This case continues to be under investigation. Anyone having any information is urged to contact police by calling 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 715-5557, 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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Police Need Your Help To Find 16-Year-Old Arjanae Frett On St. Thomas: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Police need your help to find a teenager who is missing on St. Thomas tonight.

Arjanae Frett. 16, of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, has been reported missing by her family, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Police Need Your Help To Find 16-Year-Old Arjanae Frett On St. Thomas: VIPD

Frett has been known to frequent the Contant Knolls and Oswald Harris Court housing communities on St. Thomas.

If you see Arjanae Frett you are asked to call police at 911.

Police reported on Facebook July 25 that Frett had been found safe and sound.

“UPDATE: Arjanae Frett has been located, and is presently in the custody of the VIPD Youth Investigation Bureau. Many thanks to everyone who shared this post.”

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Motorcyclist Dies After Colliding With Sedan Near Oswald Harris Court: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — An accident in downtown St. Thomas has tragically claimed the life of a motorcycle rider near Rumer Drive last night, authorities said.

Officers were dispatched to Rumer Drive near Oswald Harris Court after a motorcycle crashed into a sedan before 7:29 p.m. on Thursday, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Upon arrival, officers observed several good Samaritans attempting to aid a Caucasian male on the ground. according to the VIPD.

The investigation into the accident revealed the motorcycle was traveling northward on Rumer Drive in the center turn lane, VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. A Toyota Corolla, traveling east on 1st Avenue, made a right turn onto Rumer Drive, where the collision occurred, Derima said.

The rider of the motorcycle, who was thrown off the vehicle in the collision, was transported to the Roy Lester Schneider Regional Medical Center via ambulance for treatment, but succumbed to his injuries at about 8 p.m., the police spokesman said.

The identity of the motorcycle rider is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

This accident is currently under active investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police by calling 911 or the Traffic Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211.