St. Croix man charged with breaking another man's jaw during traffic dispute


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ST. CROIX - Police have arrested a man on charges that he seriously injured another man because of a traffic dispute.

Wayne Woodrup, 55, of La Grande Princesse was advised of his rights Tuesday on a single charge of third-degree assault following a dispute with another motorist during the weekend.

He was advised by Magistrate Miguel Camacho that if he is tried and convicted of the charge, he could face up to five years in prison.

According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Officer Luis Cedano, a man told police he was driving in the parking lot of an East End restaurant when Woodrup, who he knows, drove by him at a high rate of speed. The man said he yelled out to Woodrup in jest, to watch where he was going before he got into an accident.

The man said he parked his vehicle and Woodrup parked behind him and walked up to him and asked the man what he had said. The man said he laughed and repeated what he had said, and Woodrup pulled him out of his car by his shirt and punched him in the face.

Cedano said the man's two passengers corroborated his story.

He said the assault left the man's jawbone broken.

Cedano said when he went to Woodrup, he was sitting in the bar having drinks, and when Cedano asked him about the incident, Woodrup said that he punched the man because he does not like people making jokes with him.

Woodrup said he had walked up to the man to find out what he had said to him and the man was reaching behind his seat as if he was going for a weapon, according to Cedano's report.

At Tuesday's advice-of-rights hearing, Camacho set Woodrup's bail at $25,000.

Assistant Public Defender Venetia Velasquez asked the court to allow Woodrup's release on an unsecured bond in the amount of bail. Without objection from Assistant Attorney General Cornelius Evans, Camacho granted the release conditions as requested.

At the time of the his arrest, Woodrup was on pre-trial release stemming from an arrest in October in which he was charged with obtaining money under false pretense. Woodrup faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted of that charge.

According to an affidavit in that case, the owner of United Refrigeration in St. Thomas filed a police report in May 2010 reporting that Woodrup had presented two separate checks worth $20,000 on two occasions to purchase air-conditioning units and parts and that both checks were returned for insufficient funds.

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

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