A tourist accused of killing a hotel worker was fending off an attack, his family says
A Connecticut man accused of killing a hotel worker in Anguilla was defending himself from an attack at the Caribbean resort, his family said.
Gavin Scott Hapgood, 44, faces a charge of manslaughter in connection to the death of 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel, a Dominican national and maintenance worker at the Malliouhana resort in Anguilla, according to a statement from the Royal Anguilla Police Force.
Hapgood’s family said in the statement that their “dream vacation turned into a chilling nightmare — a literal fight to survive.”
On the night of April 13, 2019, minutes after Hapgood’s minor daughters arrived back to their room, a man dressed in a hotel uniform knocked on their door, saying he was there to fix a broken sink, the family statement said.
Hapgood said the sinks weren’t broken, as far as he knew, but the man could look.
A fight broke out and the family says Mitchel, whom the family refers to as the “attacker,” bit Hapgood multiple times, including on his face. Previously, a family spokeswoman said Mitchel carried out a “sudden, violent attack on the family.”
An autopsy revealed the cause of Mitchel’s death was “prone restraint and positional asphyxia.” There were also signs of blunt force trauma to the head, torso and abdomen, Anguilla police spokesman Randy Dick said in a statement.
The family says Hapgood did not choke Mitchel.
A security guard arrived and restrained Mitchel at some point, according to the statement, and Hapgood was taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
The family members say they gave firsthand accounts of the alleged attack to authorities and are fully cooperating with the investigation.
The family also provided a photo of Hapgood, which they say was taken before he went to the hospital. They say it shows injuries he sustained while fighting with Mitchel. CNN can’t independently verify their claims.
The family says the wounds will heal “but the trauma of this incident will be with our family forever.”
After his arrest, Hapgood was granted a $75,000 bond and left the territory, on the conditions that he return for an August 22 court date and return within three days of each subsequent hearing.
“Scott Hapgood did what any parent would do — defend himself and his children,” the statement said. “And thanks to his actions, Scott and our family survived this terrible encounter.”
CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this report.