Scott Hapgood and his family have released a second statement (full text below) giving additional details about the circumstances surrounding the fight in the family’s hotel room that later resulted in his arrest on a charge of manslaughter in Anguilla.
Anguillan authorities said that asphyxiation was the cause or one of the causes of the death of Kenny Mitchel, the hotel maintenance worker who fought with Hapgood.
In the new statement, Hapgood says Mitchel was a stranger to him when Mitchel entered the room, saying he needed to fix a sink. Hapgood says he was attacked by Mitchel, who bit him (the family released a photo of Hapgood taken shortly afterward, see below).
Hapgood said he fought back but did not choke Mitchel, who was later restrained by a hotel security guard.
Most of the statement, released Thursday morning through the public relations firm Hapgood hired, appears to be aimed at rebutting a flurry of comments on social media in Anguilla, the U.S. and elsewhere.
Many unverified statements about what happened during and after the incident include accusations against Hapgood and his family. Others are allegations against Kenny Mitchel, the man who died in the incident.
- (Darienite.com hasn’t reported on any of those accusations, since they’re all unverified and from people we don’t know that we can trust. Since Anguillan police have made an accusation against Hapgood that he committed manslaughter, we are publishing his statements defending himself.)
Full Text of the Statement
[The statement below is from Red Banyan, a public relations firm hired by Hapgood.]
The following statement is given in the wake of the Hapgood family’s recent tragic and terrifying experience in Anguilla.
When Scott and our family went on vacation, we never thought he would end up defending himself and our young children against an armed intruder.
We were excited for our first family vacation abroad in the beautiful and tranquil Caribbean island of Anguilla. But with a single knock at the door, our dream vacation turned into a chilling nightmare—a literal fight to survive.
Scott and our family cooperated fully with local authorities in Anguilla following the attack, and our first-hand accounts of the events were taken by them.
Court proceedings in Anguilla have been scheduled for August. While we wait, a fair and just process for Scott must be ensured as his future hangs in the balance. For these reasons, the facts we now share are to establish what did not take place on or before April 13, 2019.
- Neither Scott nor any member of our family made any call for a maintenance request to our hotel room on April 13, 2019, or at any time prior.
- Neither Scott nor any member of our family knew the attacker before April 13, 2019, when he came to our room, dressed in the hotel’s uniform. The attacker arrived minutes after our minor daughters walked back to the hotel room on their own. The man knocked on the door, saying he was there to fix a broken sink. Scott indicated the sinks were not broken as far as he was aware, but that the man was free to have a look. Like any of us would, he trusted a hotel staff person in uniform.
- Neither Scott nor any member of our family had any conversations with the attacker at any time prior to him coming to the hotel room on April 13, 2019.
- During the attack, Scott did not choke the attacker. Scott himself sustained severe injuries as a result of the physical struggle which ensued. Scott was literally fighting for his life. He was bitten multiple times by the attacker, including on his face. After the attacker was restrained by a security guard, and before Scott was taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment for his injuries, we took the included photo.
- Scott’s wife was not present in the room at the time of the attack on Scott and his minor children.
- Scott’s wife did not film the attack on Scott and his minor daughters. When she arrived, she was focused on the safety of her children and husband.
- Neither Scott nor any member of his family took photos of the attacker.
- Scott did not check into the Four Seasons resort the “very first day” after the attack. In contrast, he was in jail. After the attack, Scott was taken to the hospital to attend to his injuries, and then to the police station. While he was giving a witness statement, he first learned that the attacker passed away. Scott spent that evening in the police station. Upon his initial release, Scott was checked into the Four Seasons by the Malliouhana resort, which paid for the stay. Two days later, Scott was arrested and charged, handcuffed, and detained. This detention was one of the most grueling events of his life. Then, as soon as he could, Scott returned home to the United States.
- Scott’s wounds will heal, but the trauma of this incident will be with our family forever.
Scott has spent his entire life doing the right things: he is married to his college sweetheart, he has worked at the same company for over 20 years, he is a volunteer coach and a loving and devoted father.
Scott Hapgood did what any parent would do — defend himself and his children. And thanks to his actions, Scott and our family survived this terrible encounter.
Our family would like to express its thanks to those who have offered encouragement and support during this trying time. We ask that our privacy be respected as the judicial process moves forward.