Gavin Scott Hapgood, the 44-year-old Darien man who was charged with manslaughter in Anguilla earlier this month, released a statement through a public relations firm saying that he was “attacked without warning” by the man who died in the confrontation with him.
The maintenance worker, identified by law enforcement authorities as Kenny Mitchel, a Dominica native, demanded money and was armed, according to Hapgood’s statement, which was made directly by Kelcey Kintner, a member of the public relations firm Red Banyan and a spokeswoman for the family.
Mitchel showed up, in uniform, at the hotel room where Hapgood and his family were staying, saying he was there to fix a broken sink, even though Hapgood never called maintenance, contrary to reports online.
The maintenance worker “carried out [a] sudden, violent attack on the family,” according to the statement. A Royal Anguilan Police Force spokesman recently told Associated Press that other members of Hapgood’s family were there when the violence took place.
“Scott and the members of his family have been traumatized by the assault they survived and are thankful to be alive,” Kintner said in the short statement.
Kintner is director of media strategy for Red Banyan, a public relations firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Georgia, Texas and Florida.
Earlier this week, an Anguillan police spokesman told the Associated Press that police don’t yet have a motive for why Hapgood killed the man in the fight. Hapgood was arrested April 13, the night of the incident on the main island of Anguilla, a British territory in the Carribean. He left the country with his family after he paid a bond of about $74,000.
Tensions have been high in the country, particularly on social media, leading to police and the head of the island’s government to issue statements asking people to trust law enforcement authorities to handle the case.
They also reminded the public that tourism is a big industry for Anguilla, and the nation of less than 15,000 could suffer if the public’s reaction caused vacationers to avoid the place.
Full Text of the Statement
Here’s the full text of the statement:
On-the Record Statement by Kelcey Kintner, Spokeswoman for Scott Hapgood
- Attacked without warning in his family’s hotel room by a maintenance worker who was armed and demanding money, Scott Hapgood acted in self-defense to protect the lives of his young daughters and himself.
- Despite false reports to the contrary, the Hapgoods never called maintenance. Neither invited nor expected, the worker showed up unannounced in uniform at the hotel room, claiming he was there to fix a broken sink before carrying out his sudden, violent attack on the family.
- A dedicated father and husband and respected member of his community, Scott and the members of his family have been traumatized by the assault they survived and are thankful to be alive.