The long-time St. John businesswoman called to add her voice to reports of unsettling encounters with a stranger in the isolated Salt Pond and Drunk Bay area of park — which did not involve any physical or verbal threats and was not reported to police.
The second report to St. John Tradewinds of a lone male stalking women on the beach at Salt Pond and on the trails between the popular isolated bay on the southeastern tip of the island and Drunk Bay and Ram Head also involved a “guy who approached us and said his name was Brian.”
“I was down there at Drunk Bay with two friends from Norway, doing a kind of mud bath thing,” the businesswoman explained of the purported therapeutic mud of the salt pond near the isolated beach. “He approached us, too, and he followed us, too.”
“This same guy approached me and two of my friends,” the businesswoman related. “He didn’t come much closer when he saw there was a male with us.”
“But, he followed us and he approached us several times,” she said. “We went in the water to avoid him.”
“That was on the afternoon of May 12,” the St. John businesswoman reiterated. “The report that Tradewinds had is not unfounded.”
Other Incidents Not Reported to VIPD
The visitor who had e-mailed St. John Tradewinds about the Salt Pond encounter and was interviewed by telephone, said she did not report the incident to authorities and she and her husband left the St. John the next day.
The incident happened May 8, the woman said.
On May 8, a caller to police reported lewd behavior by a male near Salt Pond, but when officers responded to the isolated scene they found no one, VIPD spokesperson Melody Rames told Tradewinds.
That report was listed as unfounded, Rames said.
“That’s the same day as the incident reported in the Tradewinds story which the police listed as unfounded,” said the first caller, who wanted to back up the incident reported to the police with her own unreported encounter.
The woman visitor who called St. John Tradewinds also said she just wanted to make sure everyone knew that the report by another person of lewd behavior in the area of Salt Pond was not an exaggeration nor unfounded as it was categorized by V.I. Police Department spokesperson Rames.
The St. John businesswoman who called to say she also had an uncomfortable encounter at the isolated beach said she just wanted to reiterate that there has been a lone male acting suspiciously, if not menacingly, at Salt Pond in recent weeks.
Posters alerting the public that “women have been getting raped in St. John while hitch hiking or hiking Solomon Trail” have been posted around the island in recent weeks.
Most of the incidents apparently have not been reported to the VIPD or VINP, according to law enforcement officials, although one caller to St. John Tradewinds said three incidents had been reported.
Only Incident Reported
VIPD spokesperson Rames confirmed only one incident which was reported in the Gifft Hill area in early May and was being investigated. There have been no arrests in that case or other incidents reported or confirmed by Rames.
V.I. National Park Service officials have been investigating the reports of sexual assaults — after receiving multiple calls asking about reported attacks on VINP trails, but VINP law enforcement officials said in early May that no incidents have been reported.
Despite widespread on-line and on-island conversation and posted anonymous warnings that
“women have been getting raped in St. John while hitch hiking or hiking Solomon Trail,” V.I. Police Department spokesperson Rames told St. John Tradewinds the reports were “unfounded.”
One long-time resident who works in Cruz Bay, said he had met the young woman who reported being the victim of a sexual assault by two men while hitch-hiking alone late at night on North Shore Road.
The victim said one of the men raped her while the other filmed the attack.
“A couple of other victims… moved stateside” as long ago as March, according to the source — who listed five victims of a variety of incidents dating back to March.