Man charged with burglary after his 14th arrest


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ST. CROIX - At 34 years of age, Luis Navarro's criminal record speaks volumes, showing 14 arrests - including an arrest Wednesday night in which he was charged with barging into another person's home and threatening the occupants with a firearm.

Navarro appeared in Magistrate Court on Thursday and was advised of his rights on charges of first-degree burglary; third-degree assault; disturbance of the peace by fighting; and carrying a dangerous weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

V.I. Police Officer Andrea Claxton said in her police report that she and her partner were dispatched about 8:08 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a firearms report in Marley housing community.

When they got there, they met a man who reported that Navarro came up to his apartment causing a disturbance, Claxton said. The man said Navarro was questioning him and his girlfriend about an earlier incident involving Navarro's children.

The man said Navarro walked up to the door arguing, then pushed a woman who was standing there out of the way and entered the house in a rage, according to Claxton's report.

The man told police that Navarro punched him in the face and he punched Navarro back, and Navarro pulled out a small silver handgun and pointed it in the man's face.

Claxton said two women confirmed what the man had said, adding that they had seen Navarro outside in the parking lot asking for the man and they could tell Navarro was angry. The women said they ran in front of Navarro to block him from going into the house, but he pushed past them and assaulted the man.

Navarro was picked up by police and questioned Wednesday afternoon, according to the police report.

Claxton said Navarro provided a written statement that he did not have a gun and did not go into the man's house. Navarro said he and the man were engaged in a physical altercation, but that the fight happened outside of the house, according to Claxton.

Navarro subsequently was arrested.

During Thursday's hearing, defense attorney Kwame Montilewa asked the court to set bail at $25,000 and that Navarro is indigent and has no funds to post a high bail. Montilewa told the court that $25,000 is sufficient to ensure the safety of the community and Navarro's appearance at future court appearances.

Assistant Attorney General Joseph Ponteen said he is concerned about Navarro's 14 prior arrests, some of which resulted in convictions. Ponteen said Navarro is a candidate to be treated as a habitual offender, and Ponteen objected to the $25,000 bail and asked that bail be set at $50,000 and be fully secured.

Magistrate Miguel Camacho said he had listened to both side's arguments on the bail issue and taken the safety and appearance into consideration along with looking at Navarro's extensive criminal history. Camacho increased the bail to $100,000 and ordered that it be fully secured.

The judge said if Navarro is able to post bail, he would need a third-party custodian and be placed on a 24-hour curfew with the use of an electronic monitoring device.

Unable to meet the bail requirements, Navarro remains at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.

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

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