Ugly girl-fight gets out of control

POSTED: 10/31/13 11:29 AM

Victim’s attorney demands suspect’s immediate arrest

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – The mother finally decided to go to the media with the story about the feud between her now 22-year old daughter and a former housemate. It is a story about death-threats, ill-treatment, attempted murder and a lack of action by law enforcement. Part of the drama took place in Anguilla; the latest is a knife attack on the girl’s brother last Saturday. The victim and her mother feel deserted by the public prosecutor’s office.

At the mother’s request, this newspaper will not mention her real name, or the real names of her son and daughter. For readability purposes we will call them Patrick and Julia. The purpose of this story is not to make things worse, but to assist with the push for a solution.

The conflict begins in June. Julia has lived together with her adversary – whom we shall call Patricia – in a house in Madame Estate. Patricia’s boyfriend James and another girl also lived at the house. Things did not go well, and at a certain moment Julia left.

One day in June, Patricia came looking for her at her place of work, demanding money to pay the electricity bill. Things turned ugly; Julia’s mother says that Patricia hit her daughter and spit her in her neck. Patricia also said that she was going to kill Julia.

According to attorney Mr. Geert Hatzmann, who represents the victim, the police refused to accept a complaint because the victim had not sustained any injuries. Julia takes Patricia’s death threats serious, because she has known her since primary school.

On August Monday Julia went to Anguilla, where she encountered Patricia and two other girls. A fight erupted, whereby one of the girls pushed Julia under water in an obvious attempt to drown her. The by now former boyfriend of Patricia witnessed the fight and came to Julia’s rescue.

Her attackers were detained by the police in Anguilla and send on their way to St. Maarten the next day. The police refused to accept a complaint even though Julia sustained injuries that were treated at the local Princess Alexandra Hospital at a cost of $75.

The police in St. Maarten did not want to accept a complaint either, attorney Hatzmann wrote in an opinion piece in this newspaper on October 15. The reason: the fight happened in another jurisdiction. Hatzmann referred in his opinion piece to article 11 of the code of criminal procedures. “Based on this article a resident of St. Maarten can be prosecuted for a crime committed in another country.”

A couple of weeks later Julia was allowed to file a complaint, but only about the ill-treatment that had taken place in June. Hatzmann reported the Anguilla-incident via email to two different prosecutors.

The mother’s story indicates that the animosity runs deep: “Three days after Anguilla Monday Patricia came with some friends to our house on the Pondfill. They started a fight in my yard and the police locked up my son and my daughter. We have a video of this fight.”

Last Saturday, Julia’s brother Patrick was at Le Petit Chateau on Pond Island when Patricia arrived. She drove her car straight at Patrick who quickly ran into the club. There Patricia attacked him with a knife, inflicting cut wounds to his lip and his right arm. The hospital treated the young man’s injuries at a cost of $100.

The mother of Julia and Patrick is at her wit’s end and has a premonition that it will all end badly if nothing is done. “I want the prosecutor’s office to do what it has to do. That girl should be in jail. She threatened to kill my daughter and my son.”

Attorney Hatzmann said yesterday that he had again submitted a request to detain Patricia to Chief Prosecutor Hans Wesselink. “I pointed out that the mistake of not picking her up earlier now had become painfully clear after the incident at Le Petit Chateau. In received a formal reply, saying that my message had been received and that I would be kept abreast of any progress in the investigation.”

Hatzmann is not happy with the reaction. “I want them to arrest this girl this week; otherwise I am going to start a procedure at the Common Court of Justice. I do understand that the prosecutor’s office is unable to make any promises, but it would have been nice to read that they are on our side. This was not a good email.”

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