Employer of man beaten at Magens Bay says victim has died

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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Police on Thursday were unsure about the status of 65-year-old William Hyde, who was badly beaten Thanksgiving weekend and who, according to his boss, was taken off life support and died earlier this week.

Hyde's employer, Zakaria Suid, the president of Gourmet Gallery, said Thursday that Hyde's family members had pulled him off of life support and he died either Tuesday and Wednesday. Suid said Hyde worked for Gourmet Gallery for 18 months conducting wine tastings and working behind the deli counter.

"It's very difficult to hear something like this," Suid said. "He was a good person. He was a very peaceful man."

Suid said he could not see why anyone would want to harm Hyde.

Police arrested five boys in connection with the Nov. 23 beating of Hyde and charged them with attempted murder, first-degree assault, kidnapping, grand larceny, unauthorized used of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen vehicle and two counts of using a dangerous weapon during a crime of violence, according to a press release.

After being advised of their rights in Juvenile Court, the minor suspects were released to the custody of their parents or guardians pending further court action, according to police.

A press release issued Wednesday by police spokeswoman Melody Rames stated that Hyde was hospitalized on St. Thomas and later transferred to a stateside medical facility by his family.

Rames said Thursday she had no further information about Hyde's status. "Where would I find that?" she said, in reference to Hyde's condition on Thursday.

Regarding the fact that the victim's status could have a significant impact on the charges the suspects face, Rames said she would look into the matter but provided no further information by press time.

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