Prominent Connecticut financial advisor Gavin Scott Hapgood, 44, was arrested for manslaughter on April 16 while vacationing with his family on the idyllic Caribbean island of Anguilla. Few details have been disclosed, as Anguillan authorities remain tight-lipped about the series of events that led to one man’s murder.
Hapgood has issued a statement through a spokesman saying that he was acting in self-defense.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
The statement continued, “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”
Here’s what you need to know about Hapgood and the charges leveled against him:
1. The Victim, Kenny Mitchel, Died Due to ‘Prone Restraint, Positional Asphyxia & Blunt Force Trauma, but Few Details About the Case Have Been Released
According to the Royal Anguillan Police Force Facebook page, officers were called to investigate the death of Dominica national, Kenny “Mylez” Richie Marty Mitchel (also spelled by some authorities as Mitchell) on April 13 at 4:05 PM. Hapgood and his family were staying on the island’s West End at the same hotel where Mr. Mitchell was employed as a maintenance worker.
The RAPF’s Facebook page states that Hapgood was arrested on April 16 based on interviews and the victim’s pathology report. RAPF authorities then went to Anguillan attorney general to review their findings and determine if an arrest should be made.
According to The Anguillan, Mitchel’s death certificate stated that he died due to “prone restraint, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso.” No further information regarding Mr. Hapgood’s relationship to Mr. Mitchel, 27, was provided. Police Commissioner Paul Morrison said on the RAPF’s Facebook page posted the following on April 19, “The Royal Anguilla Police Force needs the public’s support to solve crime and we need their support at this time.”
2. The Case Is Causing Controversy Throughout the Caribbean
Online conversations about Kenny Mitchel’s death are becoming heated. There are allegations of racism as well as allegations that Anguillan authorities quietly set Mr. Hapgood free in order to protect the country’s tourism interests. Some people have chimed in on social member to say this was a simple case of self-defense. There is concern that Hapgood, who is believed to be back in the United States, will not voluntarily return to Anguilla to face charges.
Gavin Hapgood left America,went to Anguilla, killed a Dominican man, posted bond and went back to America. What the fuck.
— The Prophet (@Dehfatboy) April 20, 2019
Morrison went on to acknowledge that The crime has become a heated topic on social media and asked for everyone to use restraint when discussing the case. “It is in everybody’s interest that the authorities act within the law and that we seek justice for victims and those who are accused of crimes are dealt with fairly in all cases. Justice can only be served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not, and that is decided before the Court and were the rules of evidence and law preside and not in social media where there are no rules.”
RAPF Public Media Relations Manager Randy Dick made a similar comment on Facebook. “It is in everybody’s interest that the authorities act within the law and that we seek justice for victims and those who are accused of crimes are dealt with fairly in all cases. Justice can only be served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not, and that is decided before the Court and were the rules of evidence and law preside and not in social media where there are no rules.”
The Facebook page Unity for Justice has been set up by “a group of individuals fighting to see justice for the slaying of Mylez Mitchell an employee of a luxury resort on Anguilla by Scott Gavin Hapgood.” The page describes him as “His personality was larger than life, so much so that all who came in contact with him were usually left awestruck at his genuineness. He had a way of making everyone feel safe, comfortable and loved.”
3. Hapgood Is a Prominent Financial Advisor
A resident of Darien Connecticut, Hapgood is a successful financial advisor and is listed as working for UBS in Manhattan.Brokercheck.com Shows that Hapgood has 20 years of experience, And has special licensing in 52 states. A representative with UBS told Page Six, “We are aware of the recent events in Anguilla and are following the situation closely. As you will appreciate, it would not be appropriate for us to provide any comment in relation to an active criminal proceeding.”
UBS is a multinational Swiss-based banking and investment firm Based in Basel, Switzerland. UBS is the largest Swiss banking operation in the world. In 2017, UBS was the 11th largest banking institution in Europe. The company has numerous divisions that handle various aspects of personal and corporate banking as well as asset management and financial planning.
4. Hapgood’s Bail Was Originally Denied
Hapgood’s bail of $74,000 was initially denied on April 16 by Anguillan magistrate Keithley Benjamin. The Anguillan has quoted the magistrate as saying, “the charge of manslaughter is a serious offence,” adding, ” that the court has a discretion on the matter and while they may be good reason for bail to be granted, the court has to balance the interest of the person charged, the public interest and the interest of justice.”
Hapgood’s attorney appealed to have the bail increased to $200,000 which was approved and he was released. The online news agency The Dominican reports that Hapgood left the island soon after.
5. Anguilla Is a Lesser-Known Caribbean Vacation Destination
Anguilla is an overseas British territory located in the Eastern Caribbean. The popular vacation destination is comprised of a main island and several uninhabited smaller islands nearby. The main island is approximately 16 miles long and three miles wide.
The capital is The Valley, which has a population of approximately 14,764. U.S. News & World Report calls Anguilla an “authentic” Caribbean island, and describes it as having “a surplus of clear, coral-filled waters, unmarked and unpaved roads and low-key beachfront villas.” Anguilla is also considered one of the safest Caribbean islands.
Anguilla has several popular tourist spots but is best known for its beautiful beaches. These include Shoal Bay East, a long stretch of beautiful sandy beach, considered to be one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Meads Bay Beach on the islands West End and Rendezvous Bay Beach. Visiting tourists can enjoy swimming snorkeling diving and relaxing. In the summertime, Anguilla is known for its boat races, parties, and parades.