Connecticut man who killed Anguilla hotel worker calls ordeal 'a nightmare'

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Ken Rosato reports on the Connecticut man who says he killed a hotel worker while protecting his family in Anguilla.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Connecticut man who says he killed a hotel worker while protecting his family in Anguilla spoke out Tuesday afternoon, describing the ordeal as "a nightmare."

Scott Hapgood, of Darien, held a news conference in Manhattan before he returns to the island to go before a judge to face manslaughter charges.

"On April 13, my family's life was changed forever," he said. "Since that day, we've been living a nightmare that has gradually become our reality."

His comments come as a new toxicology report shows that hotel worker had drugs and alcohol in his system the night he died.

"We want the same thing as the people of Anguilla, for the truth to come out," he said. "We have a long road ahead of us, but I'm looking forward to someday getting back to the life we once had."

The 44-year-old American financier is fighting for his freedom after authorities say he killed a worker during a fight at a five-star Caribbean resort.

WATCH: Hapgood speaks publicly for the first time about Anguilla incident

Hapgood was vacationing with his wife and children when he says 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel showed up claiming he needed to fix a broken sink.

In a written account Hapgood provided to the New York Times, he claims soon after he let Mitchel inside, the worker "pulled a knife on me, demanding my money and my wallet."

Hapgood said during a "hard struggle" he was stabbed and bitten by Mitchel several times.

"I feared for my life, as well as the lives of my daughters," he said.

Hapgood's daughters, who were in the room at the time, summoned help from the front desk, according to the Times.

The paper interviewed one of the other hotel workers, who told them he saw Hapgood straddling Mitchel and leaning on his neck and face, and that Mitchel appeared to be struggling for air.

Officials say Mitchel died of positional asphyxia and blunt force injuries.

"It was a terrifying experience on the island, post the arrest, having to spend multiple nights incarcerated, being threatened on the island and since," Hapgood said. "My wife, my children, we wake up with it, we live in it, we swim in it, we breathe it every day."

A toxicology report obtained by ABC News states that Mitchel had a blood alcohol level of .181, more than twice the U.S. legal limit, and he had cocaine in his system at the time of the incident.

ABC News has not independently verified the report, and authorities in Anguilla would not confirm or deny the results.

Hapgood's attorneys released a statement saying, "Scott Hapgood had no choice but to defend himself and his children from the frenzied attack of a man under the influence of a dangerous combination of illegal drugs and alcohol."

Hapgood is on administrative leave from his job at UBS. Anguillan authorities warned him, saying he faces credible security threats, but nonetheless, he must return to the island on Thursday for a court appearance.

"I know that I was a victim," he said. "My family was a victim here, and I think the truth will come out. And I look forward to that."


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