Even as condemnation and calls for justice for local sporting hero Anderson Peters continued to grow across Grenada yesterday, Assistant Supt Simon Douglas, of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), assured a thorough investigation is being conducted.
The reigning World javelin champion was allegedly beaten and thrown overboard by a group of Trinis during an altercation on the Harbour Master on Wednesday.
The Grenada government, in a statement on Thursday, said it was “deeply saddened” by the situation.
“The facts are still unknown, but the persons involved are currently assisting the police with their investigations, which are expected to be swift. The government of Grenada unequivocally condemns violence of any kind and calls on all citizens and visitors to maintain a posture of respect for differing perspectives, and to opt for rational debate over extreme behaviour,” it stated.
“Prayers and well wishes for a speedy recovery are extended to Anderson Peters and all other persons injured during the altercation. May God grant us healing as a nation.”
The Harbour Master and Ocean Pelican cruise boats are owned by Trinidadian Adrian Scoon and are currently operating in Grenada.
Providing an update on the investigation yesterday, Douglas confirmed six Trinidadian crew members were detained by Grenadian authorities.
And while no one has as yet been charged in connection with Peters’ reported assault, Douglas said emerging information on social media pointed to other incidents occurring aboard the Harbour Master in recent days.
Grenada’s Spicemas 2022 was held during the period August 3 to 10 and the two Trinidadian party boats hosted several events during that time.
Grenadian officials confirmed the requisite permission was obtained by the owner/operator of the vessels to conduct activities.
A video of the incident involving Peters showed him engaged in a physical altercation with several men, during which time he was punched and kicked, before being tossed overboard.
The medical condition of Peters, who claimed silver in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, was unknown up to late Thursday.
Of the investigation up to 4 pm Thursday, Douglas said, “We are still at the stage of them being questioned and so, the investigation is still under way and we cannot say if they will, or will not be charged.”
Asked to comment on a social media claim that female patrons were allegedly harassed whilst aboard the Harbour Master as they attended a party in the last week, Douglas said, “We have not had any official reports but there are several posts now on social media where people are complaining about the treatment they suffered on the same Harbour Master from the crew members.”
He added, “We cannot say for a fact whether any of our police stations received complaints and now this is happening…we may find out a complaint was made before and no big deal was made about it.”
However, he admitted warnings could have been issued to the vessel operator if such reports had been received.
Indicating that the ongoing investigation did not preclude the boat from continuing to host scheduled events, Douglas was uncertain if other developments could impact the departure of the vessel from Grenada.
Calls and messages to Scoon went unanswered yesterday.
However, a release from Harbour Tours Ltd stated: “The recent violence on our ship involving Anderson Peters is disheartening to both our management and staff. We emphatically declare that we do not condone acts of violence of any kind.”
“We understand the public’s concern and the overall sensitivity of the situation. Currently, the full details surrounding the incident are still forthcoming, but we are working with the relevant authorities to gain a clearer understanding of what occurred. We will work with all involved to ensure there is an amicable resolution,” it stated.
Athletic bodies condemn assault
The St David’s Track Blazers (SDTB), of which Peters is a member, added their voice to those condemning the incident.
In a release, the SDTB said, “The SDTB vehemently reproves such treatment of one of Grenada’s most successful athletes, but more so such treatment being meted out to a human being.”
Tthe club added, “Rest assured that we will support Anderson and his family throughout this ordeal and will continue to provide emotional, physical, and physiological support.”
Meanwhile, the Grenada Athletic Association (GAA) criticised what they referred to as, “the cowardly actions of some five persons who physically assaulted our national sporting icon and hero.”
Claiming Peters did not suffer any life-threatening injuries, the GOC condemned, “these barbaric actions and look forward to the relevant authorities taking decisive actions against all the perpetrators.”
The GOC also called for an expeditious resolution of the matter.