Caribbean | Crime | Travel

St. Maarten Gay Bash Attack Victim Speaks Out

Dick_jefferson Ryan_smith

Richard Jefferson talked to CBS news in Miami about the gay bashing incident in St. Maarten that left him with wounds from a wheel wrench on his head and back, and left his friend Ryan Smith with a fractured skull. Smith has not been able to speak properly since the incident.

"To have somebody pull a tire iron out from inside their car and go after you is just crazy," Jefferson told CBS. "They joke it was the friendly island. It was very unfriendly the other night. The car backs up and this little guy gets out with this tire wrench. And I'm going 'What the hell's going on around here?' And, quite frankly, that's the last I knew...So I called the police station and called the detectives bureau, and the detective on duty said, 'We have no report of anything happening.' So I was going, 'This is crazy. At least four of my friends called it in.'"

Based on the negligent response from the authorities on St. Maarten, I think it's time for a boycott.

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  1. Boycott... AMEN!!!!!!

    Posted by: Joey | Apr 10, 2006 12:58:41 PM

  2. It's an international incident if a girl disappears on a school trip, but if gay men nearly get beaten to death it's a non-event? How does this keep happening? It's totally outrageous.

    Posted by: MT | Apr 10, 2006 1:09:04 PM

  3. You know, there is a to Andy's call for a boycott here. Just two inches to the right of the sentence "Based on the negligent response from the authorities on St. Maarten, I think it's time for a boycott." is a blogad for Atlantis Cruises. And I mean literally, 2 inches to the right, as of this time, on my computer screen.

    And guess what is one of the ports of call for the 2007 Atlantis Caribbean cruise? Heh, yep you guessed it.

    Andy, please don't take this as a criticism (because it is not...something should be done, and a boycott is certainly a logical response here), but I'm wondering if you are aware you are essentially calling for a boycott of one of your blog advertisers? At least a partial one, it seems to me.

    Posted by: Jim | Apr 10, 2006 1:16:32 PM

  4. What? Not on Nancy Grace's radar?

    This and other G/L/B/T news feeds are the ONLY place I've seen any mention of this incident.

    Boycott, and how about continually writing media outlets about the problems (St. Marrten, Rio, Ireland, etc...) that have been coming up a lot in recent months.

    Posted by: Rad | Apr 10, 2006 1:17:05 PM

  5. Boycott 'em! Hell, nuke 'em!

    Seriously, why is it that the governments of these Carribean islands allow this to continue? I would think that the majority of their income is from tourism. If Americans cannot go to St. Maarten or Jamaica (or Aruba, etc.) without risking physical assault then there will be fewer tourists leaving their cash in the Carribean.

    I would think that raising awareness of this incident among Europeans (gay and straight) would have a direct impact on tourist dollars. While many Americans visit and vacation there, I would think that they are outnumbered by Europeans. Since Europeans are generally more progressive than Americans we would probably see a larger boycott than if we American gays boycotted them all on our own.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Apr 10, 2006 1:22:22 PM

  6. RSVP cruises is going to St. Maarten in February 2007.

    They are monitoring the situation. They are concerned. But they could also use some urging from gay men that if the island doesn't get it's act together. Still, no word from the police. A phone call from a Lt. Governor is "pending", but hasn't happened yet. But trying calling the police down there, and nothing.

    So it's best if people contact the island. Or RSVP cruises.

    Paul Figlmiller

    Edward Dest

    Paul is President of RSVP. and Edward is with the ST. Maarten Tourist Bureau in St. Maarten.

    or Stefan in NYC at

    Posted by: Aaron Krach | Apr 10, 2006 3:15:42 PM

  7. the email addresses didn't work. Sorry.

    Paul Figlmiller at RSVP Cruises-

    Edward Dest, ST. Maarten -

    ps: The news in St. Maarten wrote a very positive editorial today: you can read it here.

    Posted by: Aaron Krach | Apr 10, 2006 3:35:13 PM

  8. the email addresses didn't work. Sorry.

    Paul Figlmiller at RSVP Cruises-

    Edward Dest, ST. Maarten -

    ps: The news in St. Maarten wrote a very positive editorial today: you can read it here.

    Posted by: Aaron Krach | Apr 10, 2006 3:36:37 PM

  9. No one white can safely go to Jamaica - unless you`re in a holiday compound/prison camp. And it is violently homophobic. So much for Bob Marley and his warm messages of love.

    Posted by: Peter Rivendell | Apr 10, 2006 4:29:35 PM

  10. This is absolutely insane.

    We need to start fighting back. In fact, we have to. It's time for us to put a serious dent in the ranks of those gaybashers who think they can bully, threaten and kill us into submission. You want to come into a gay bar and threaten me? Fine, my gay friends and I are going to beat the ever-living shit out of you with whatever we can get our hands on.

    I'm not one to say violence is the answer, but the time for being nice is long gone. Enough.

    Posted by: Tread | Apr 10, 2006 6:49:33 PM

  11. Wasn't Bob Marley murdered by his own people?

    Has anyone seen this on the news? Either CBS or NBC where these two worked? I watch the news far too much and I haven't seen it. One of there own gets hit by an IED in Iraq and they build a shrine. Two of their own get beaten outside a gay bar and not a whisper.


    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Apr 10, 2006 7:58:21 PM

  12. We just got back from the Atlantis 15th anniversary cruise, our last stop was St Maarten. We were over on Orient Beach and I think walked right by that bar. I think its right on the beach. We didn't have any problems, but we were with a group from the cruise. Atlantis is also going back to St Maarten on their biggest gay cruise ever in January 2007. We rebooked but to be honest, we weren't very impressed with St Marrten

    Posted by: LeanOhioGuy | Apr 10, 2006 8:20:24 PM

  13. I've asked this before...but the MOST critical question IN the U.S. is 'has this been reported by CBS'? We should be demanding coverage. Then start focusing on boycotts.

    Posted by: psmike | Apr 10, 2006 9:00:39 PM

  14. "No one white can safely go to Jamaica - unless you`re in a holiday compound/prison camp."
    I know a white person who just got back from a trip to Jamaica. In one piece. Any more ignorant ideas in there? Next you'll be telling us you can't go to Harlem either. That's a classic one from way back,

    Posted by: 0 | Apr 10, 2006 11:26:28 PM

  15. There's a piece about this on this morning. No mention about the circumstances at all. Just that they are currently in Miami for treatment and are questioning why the authorities didn't gather info on the night of the assault.

    Posted by: MT | Apr 11, 2006 8:33:08 AM

  16. The main CBS news web site now has a story, and a link to the local CBS Miami station video:

    Posted by: Jim | Apr 11, 2006 9:53:47 AM

  17. BTW, O, see today's stories about the kid getting chased down in Harlem for his cell phone and killed. You may want to rethink your statement.

    Posted by: MT | Apr 11, 2006 10:43:35 AM

  18. Sorry about that incident,but we here in St.Maarten doesn't want gay around us normal people.When all tpe of people go out in the public they should respect themselves.Why go to normal places to show your identity?Its sad what happen,but we for all don't want them around us.

    Posted by: BRANDON | Apr 11, 2006 10:55:34 AM

  19. Let all gay persons that like to show themself off stay away from us here in St.Maarten.If they want to show that they are Gay, go to gay places where you can be necking and so on.It's disgusting to see 2 men making out in public like those 2 were.One thinf for sure,they cannot and will not boycott St.Maarten.Never.

    Posted by: Olivia | Apr 11, 2006 11:02:05 AM

  20. He's ugly. Why would the media cover this?

    Posted by: Larry | Apr 11, 2006 1:10:33 PM

  21. It's very sad what happened.
    But I still think that Sint MAarten is one of the Best Caribbean destinations.
    Gays are beaten all over the world, why boycott Sint MAarten for just another gay bashing?
    Come on it's ridiculous!!!

    Long Live Sint Maarten and for those that say boycott... I say get real!!!

    Posted by: Danovan | Apr 11, 2006 6:18:11 PM

  22. My friends were on St Maarten earlier this year. The enjoyed it so much that we were planning on going back as a much larger group this coming new year's. Now we are not. It isn't the gay bashing, it is the reaction of the authorities, or better said, the nonreaction, that has us most concerned.
    Just add this island to my ongoing boycott of the carribean.

    Posted by: Will | Apr 12, 2006 1:12:12 PM

  23. "Gays are beaten all over the world, why boycott Sint MAarten for just another gay bashing?"

    When the police fail to respond to or investigate a gay bashing, then that's reason enough to boycott. That and the fact that the two islanders on this board specifically said that they don't want us there. There are countless other places to spend my money.

    Posted by: regruve | Apr 12, 2006 1:58:12 PM

  24. Why are Olivias' comments allowed to stand here? Not that I can't ignore it but I thought comments like that were removed whenever they're found. I'm not meaning to rag on the owner, I'm just wondering.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Apr 12, 2006 7:48:20 PM

  25. A boycott wouldn't change anything- it would just hurt the handful of gay-oriented businesses on the island. Running away is not going to solve anything- there are plenty of straight tourists in the world, and they will continue going.
    I was in St Maarten earlier this year and found it to be a very accomodating place, but it still is an island, so you will get bigots, just like any island, including Manhattan.

    And by the way, Bamboo Bernie's is not near Orient Beach, as someone said earlier- it is closer to the airport, and I went there and never had any problems.

    Fear and boycotting is not an option.

    Posted by: Pete | Apr 13, 2006 9:36:15 AM

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