Two V.I. Police Department Officers in the St. Thomas/St. John District were arrested on two separate arrest warrants issued by Magistrate Judge Alan Smith of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands on Thursday, October 14.
Officer Eugene Somersall, 45 years old and a 20-year veteran of the VIPD, was charged with Embezzlement, Obtaining Money under False Pretence and Grand Larceny based on an investigation by the VIPD’s Insular Investigations Unit of stolen bail bonds money which occurred on three separate occasions from the Richard Callwood Command.
On each occasion Officer Somersall produced a receipt to the individual posting the bail money, but the money was never received by the Virgin Islands Superior Court. Bail was set in the amount of $10,000 (unsecured) by order of Judge Smith. Somersall was scheduled to appear in Magistrates Court on Friday, October 15, to be advised of his rights.
Gary Gumbs, 25 years old and a two-year veteran of the VIPD, was charged with Aggravated Child Abuse and Child Neglect based on the investigation of the VIPD’s Major Crimes Unit in to the shooting death of a minor child that occurred at Lovenlund Apartments in February.
Bail was set in the amount of $10,000 (unsecured) by orders of Judge Smith. Gumbs was also scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court on October 15 to be advised of his rights.
Both officers were placed on administrative leave without pay pending the conclusion of their cases.
VIPD’s Acting Commissioner Raymond Hyndman reminded the public that the officers are innocent until proven guilty in a court.
“The accusations levelled toward these officers do not reflect the character of the majority of police officers who serve this community diligently and honestly every day,” said Hyndman. “The VIPD is committed to purging its ranks of those who dishonor the badge.”
VIPD District Police Chief Rodney Querrard said “being in a management position on days like this always affects you.”
“I don’t believe that any Law Enforcement Officer ever sets out on a shift wanting to arrest one of their own,” said Querrard. “I do believe strongly though that we as a Police Department have to clean from the inside out. One cannot enforce the laws and yet break them just because they are a Police Officer.”
“We must follow the laws even more so than the people we swore to protect and serve,” Querrard said. “We should always lead by example.”