VIPD investigate report of Corrections official waving gun in St. Thomas bar
Published: April 4, 2014
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Police say they are investigating an incident that occurred early Monday in which a man reported that an off-duty Corrections Bureau administrator drew his gun in a bar in Savan.
At this point, Kelvin Williams, who is assistant warden for the jails on St. Thomas, has not been charged with any crime.
"The case is still under investigation. Police are investigating it," V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said Thursday.
Corrections Bureau Director Julius Wilson said that his department also is conducting an investigation.
"As a matter of fact, I'm in St. Thomas today," Wilson said on Thursday.
Williams did not return calls from The Daily News on Thursday.
The incident was called into 911 operators at 1:49 a.m. Monday as a disturbance in the Market Square area and was classified on the police blotter as a report of brandishing, exhibiting or using a deadly weapon.
According to the initial police report, officers were dispatched early Monday to an assault case at Classico Bar on Gamle Gade, where a man told them he saw Williams assault a woman who works at the bar.
The man told police that Williams was drunk, and that Williams and the woman had been sitting on stools. The man reported that when the woman got up, Williams smacked her on her "butt," and the woman slapped him in his face. Williams then hit her harder on the butt, and she slapped him again, according to the report.
The man told police that Williams got up and said "You hitting me? Do you know who I am?"
The report indicates that the man told police that Williams followed the woman when she went behind the bar, where she grabbed an empty alcohol bottle to defend herself, and Williams took out his gun and pointed it at her.
The man told police that the woman then ran out of the bar.
He also reported that bar patrons tried to calm Williams, and that he and Williams left and walked down the street to another bar, where he left Williams before returning to Classico.
However, according to the police report, the man told police that Williams later returned to Classico with a drink in his hand and started talking about the situation again, and asked where the woman was, saying he needed an apology immediately. The man told police that Williams again drew his gun, keeping it close to his waist pointed outward, although he did not point it at anyone in particular, according to the report.
The man reported eight people were in the bar when Williams drew his gun.
When police arrived, the woman was not there and Williams was standing outside the bar with a drink in his hand, according to the report, which indicates that Williams told police that the situation was "dealt with" and they could leave.
Police wrote that Williams "appeared to be under the influence of alcohol" and refused to speak to the officers about what happened.
According to the report, the officers told Williams that he needed to surrender his government-issued gun, which he eventually did after a "lengthy" discussion.
Police then called Corrections Bureau Assistant Director Dwayne Benjamin, who came to the bar, according to the report.
The report indicates that police gave Williams' gun to Benjamin and tried to convince Williams to have Benjamin drive him home.
The report states that Williams "was in no position to drive his personal vehicle" but refused to leave or let Benjamin drive him home.
After another "lengthy discussion" about "why he should not drive his vehicle, why he should lower his voice and leave the area," Williams was "coerced" by a police detective to get into Benjamin's vehicle and go home, according to the report.
Police talked to the owner of the bar, who refused to give a statement and told them she did not witness what happened, according to the report. Police also spoke to several of the customers, who also said they did not witness anything.
The owner gave them the first name of the woman who the complainant said was in the altercation with Williams, but the report did not say whether police interviewed her.
The report said that the man who provided the information was told the case would be forwarded to the V.I. Justice Department and that he could make a complaint there.
Wilson on Thursday said he still was in the process of gathering information.
Williams remains on the job while the Corrections Bureau investigation is being conducted, according to Wilson.
"We are allowing him to work while we investigate this. This happened after hours, and we don't have all the reports yet," Wilson said. "We're here to question him about it and any witnesses we can find."
Wilson would not say whether Williams had been given back his gun.
"Law enforcement officers carry weapons. I do not think it's appropriate to put out to the public whether he has his weapon or not until the investigation is complete," Wilson said, adding that the Corrections Bureau takes the allegations seriously.
Wilson said he expects to have his investigation completed soon and that he does not think Williams received any special treatment because of his position.
"There's always two sides to the story," Wilson said. "Before you bury the man, let me get the entire story."
V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer on Thursday night said he did not know whether the report on the incident had yet arrived at the Justice Department or whether the man who reported it had also filed a complaint there.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.