American Man Says Anguilla Resort Worker He Killed Was 'Crazed And Desperate'
A Connecticut man accused offour months ago is speaking out about the incident for the first time. Scott Hapgood is charged with manslaughter in the death of Kenny Mitchel, who Hapgood claims attacked him at a resort on the island of Anguilla in April in front of his two daughters.
Hapgood described the past four months as "terrible" but hopes to clear his name. He's spent the past several months out on bail but is traveling back and forth to Anguilla this week ahead of a court appearance on Thursday. CBS News' Anna Werner spoke with Hapgood on Monday just before he returned to the island to meet with a lawyer.
"I was on vacation relaxing with my family and attacked at knifepoint in a private hotel room," Hapgood said. "All that I did was defend my young daughters in front of an attacker that was crazed and desperate and I have to just hold onto that fact. I would do it again and thank God I was in that room when he came."
After the incident on April 13, a spokeswoman for Hapgood said a worker identified as Mitchel, 27, "showed up unannounced in uniform at the hotel room around 4 p.m., claiming he was there to fix a broken sink before carrying out his sudden, violent attack." He allegedly "was armed and demanding money." Four days later, Hapgood was charged with manslaughter but was released from jail on $74,000 bail.
"It's certainly the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced. Not just the attack but the way I was treated on the island, the time I spent in jail. The threats since, the frustration with dealing with the local judicial process and the local government," Hapgood said.
Hapgood's family said he was stabbed, bitten several times and sustained "many" bruises over his arms and chest. Mitchel's autopsy report shows he was beaten and choked to death. A toxicology report released by the island's attorney general also shows Mitchel had cocaine, cannabis and other drugs in his system. His blood-alcohol content was more than two times the legal limit in the U.S.
Less than a month before the alleged attack, an ex-girlfriend accused Mitchel of rape. That case was pending at the time of his death and the ex-girlfriend later called it a misunderstanding. But Mitchel's mother Rina says her son was a considerate man and a loving father with no history of violent behavior.
"My son wasn't into those things. I know Kenny, Kenny wasn't into those things," Mitchel said. "I am just praying and hoping that my son gets justice no matter what."
For Hapgood, justice would be clearing his name.
"We look forward to a lot of evidence that hasn't been made public getting to the public. I think it will have an immediate and dramatic impact on people's sentiment towards this incident," Hapgood said.
Many locals are angry over this case and were skeptical Hapgood would return for his court appearance. He is back in the U.S. Tuesday but is expected to return to Anguilla Wednesday. The Anguilla crime scene department said it had "no comment" about the toxicology report.