After a long weekend in jail, American visitors who brawled with police at the airport receive heavy fines from the Court

Two people who were involved in a brawl with police officers on the premises of the V.C. Bird International Airport last Wednesday, April 26, made their second appearance before the St. John’s Magistrates Court on Tuesday, May 2, after spending the holiday weekend at His Majesty’s Prison.

Larry Parks, 45, and 42-year-old Yetta Purcell, both of Pennsylvania, USA, first appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh last Friday, charged with malicious damage.

They were ordered to pay compensation to the victims of said damage, and for injuries to a female police officer.

Reportedly, the duo sought to obtain the services of an attorney, last week, asserting that they are quite familiar with their legal rights.  Therefore, the magistrate placed them on remand until Tuesday to give them time to acquire representation.

They hired attorney-at-law Lawrence Daniel, who arrived to court late – after his clients had entered a plea of guilty to the charges put to them.

Daniel wished to have the duo change their pleas; however, after they were advised that they would not be able to leave the country, in that case, they decided to maintain their plea of guilty.

The Police arrested and charged Parks and Purcell for maliciously committing damage to a vehicle, A62760, the property of Charlene Carr.

It is alleged that, during their visit here, the two had use of a vehicle belonging to the landlord of the property at which they were staying.

Reportedly, they inflicted damage on the vehicle, using a wooden stool and a stone, after they were involved in an altercation with Carr.  They accused her of failing to send them an email after undertaking a walkthrough of the property to ensure it was left in good condition.

The landlord reported the matter to the Police, and the damage to the vehicle was later estimated at over $4,000 – the same sum they had to pay her in compensation.

This offence reportedly occurred at Upper Gambles on April 26.

Meanwhile, the duo – who were caught on video in a fracas with the police at the airport – faced another charge of malicious damage – to motor vehicle C18829, the property of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda.  As a consequence, they were ordered to pay compensation in the sum of $2,332 to the Government.

Parks and Purcell faced additional charges for beating Elford Bowens, Shem Ralph, Egan Anthony, Jafique Semper, and Shania Samuel, officers of the Police Force; for resisting arrest; and for disorderly conduct by making noise.

All these offences reportedly occurred at the airport on April 26.

The Court also ordered that they compensate a female police officer who had to be treated at the hospital for injuries she sustained in the confrontation.

She had severe bruises to her fingers and knuckle and therefore received over $1,000 in compensation.

Since the other officers did not require medical attention, the Court reprimanded and discharged Parks and Purcell for the offences against them.  

A stop order for the duo reportedly had been placed at the airport by the police.  Video footage showed officers struggling to control the visiting Americans who were putting up strong resistance, with one of them having to be restrained on the ground on the day in question.