Man charged with assault appears in court bloodied and beaten after two nights in jail

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ST. CROIX - When Shadrach Petersen appeared in Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning he looked well, his thick wavy hair was pulled into a bun at the front of his head and he even smiled a few times during the hearing. On Wednesday, when he returned to court, he was barely recognizable, his face was swollen, his hair untamed and he could barely walk.

Petersen told the court he had been assaulted at the detention facility, but he had not been taken for medical attention.

He was clearly in pain, his eyes red and teary, as Magistrate Jessica Gallivan entertained a motion from the defense to set condition of release for him in the domestic case where two women said he assaulted them Monday.

Petersen, of Marley Homes was charged with aggravated assault and battery, second-degree assault and related charges after two women reported that he assaulted them and choked one of the women.

The woman said she went to Petersen's home with her sister to retrieve a television. She said they went to Petersen's bedroom and were having a civil conversation with him until she said she had come for her television.

According to the report, the woman told police that Petersen became enraged and grabbed her by her neck and tried to strangle her. The women fought back, according to the report.

According to Petersen's statement to police, he was asleep when the two women came to his room and "started drama." He told police he only got mad when the women wouldn't let him keep his DVD and that in the struggle that ensued, one woman grabbed his testicles while the other one grabbed his hair.

Bail was set at $15,000.

During the hearing Wednesday, Assistant Public Defender Leslie Davis asked the court to allow Petersen released on an unsecured bond in the amount of bail since no one had come forward to post his bail or stand in as a custodian in the case. She said he was clearly in danger at the prison.

Gallivan said while she is concerned and does not want to send Petersen to his death at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility, she also has to take steps to ensure the safety of the community and specifically the victims in the case.

Petersen has had prior arrests on assault, robbery, firearm use and ammunition possession.

Bureau of Corrections spokeswoman Juel Anderson said Wednesday that there was no report of an assault to bureau officials and an investigation has been launched to determine what if anything had occurred involving Petersen.

There was also no listing of an assault or disturbance at the facility on the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency's web blotter, which logs calls to emergency dispatchers.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

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