Fla. man arrested for groping woman, slapping security guard after St. Patrick's Day parade

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ST. CROIX - A 33-year-old man made his initial court appearance Monday morning after being arrested Saturday afternoon on charges that he assaulted a woman and a security guard who came to her defense.

Walter Nichols, of Miami, appeared before Magistrate Miguel Camacho and was advised of his rights on charges of third-degree assault; simple possession of a controlled substance; simple assault; and unlawful sexual contact.

According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Officer Miguel Charriez, police were called to Strand Street in Christiansted to respond to a disturbance during the giant street party that followed the St. Patrick's Day parade.

When police responded to the location just before 5 p.m., Charriez met a woman who reported that she was with several co-workers outside their boutique when Nichols, who was drunk, approached and spilled his beer on the merchandise table they had outside the store. The woman said she told Nichols to look at what he was doing because he was messing up their merchandise and he became aggressive and approached her.

The woman said he grabbed her by her shoulder and asked if she had a problem, then ran his hand down her buttocks. She said he got up in her face and was yelling when a security officer was called to quell the situation, the report said.

According to Charriez, when the security guard approached, Nichols slapped him in the face and then threw a beer bottle at him. The bottle missed the guard and smashed on a wall behind him.

Police took Nichols into custody and said he was found in possession of a small plastic bag containing a pipe, a lighter and a small amount of marijuana.

Bail was set at $25,000.

Camacho allowed Nichols to post 10 percent of the bail if he stays on St. Croix, but the judge said if Nichols leaves, he would have to post the full amount.

Nichols opted to remain on St. Croix with his mother serving a his custodian while the case is pending.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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