9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

Four Head Start Workers In Kingshill Were Said To Be Beaten By Mental, Homeless Man In Presence Of Children; Workers Say They Had Been Asking For Security Protection To No Avail

Breaking News / Crime / Featured / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / September 26, 2019

Last updated at 10:38 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2019

ST. CROIX — It started out as a regular day at the Head Start school in Kingshill. But coming up on the 4:00 p.m. hour on Friday, the Head Start — whose hours extend to 5:30 p.m. for parents working late — experienced an incident that left the four workers at the facility beaten, with all four transporting themselves to a medical facility for care.

Around 3:45 p.m. on Friday, a homeless man with mental problems walked up to the facility, broke its door, started acting erratic and proceeded to violently assault four workers, according to a parent whose child attends the Head Start. This parent, a mother, said she was given first-hand information by at least two of the assaulted individuals.

As one teacher who was first attacked fought to protect herself, she was joined by other staff. The workers told the Consortium Friday morning that the man had assaulted at least two individuals before making his way up to the Head Start.

All this occurred in the presence of terrified children ages 2.9 to 5 years old, according this parent. “The children had lost it, they were crying. The staff had to calm them down,” said the parent.

Head Start where incident took place (Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

The Herbert Grigg complex once included a facility that housed homeless and mentally ill individuals. This unit, however, is no longer at the Herbert Grigg complex. It is believed that the madman came to Herbert Grigg in search of refuge and lost control when he was not allowed to enter the Head Start.

“He went in rage so they were trying to keep him out of the center but there’s no security up there and this is something we’ve all voiced as parents over and over. We pleaded with them to have a security to that site and especially a site that used to have mad people walking around,” this parent said. “We are so sick and tired because we pleaded with D.H.S. to have security and they refused. We don’t know what is the problem of putting a guard there.”

Old Bethlehem Shelter sign. The facility once housed homeless and mentally ill individuals. It is believed that the mentally ill man went up to the facility seeking refuge.

The Consortium reached out to Dept. of Human Services Commissioner Kimberly Causey-Gomez for comment last week. On Thursday, she said the department would beef up security at the facility. Ms. Causey-Gomez initially told this publication last week that the information relayed to it by the parent was incorrect. However, asked on Thursday twice what was incorrect about the information, the commissioner responded by stating that D.H.S. had taken corrective action to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.

“The Head Start staff were affected by the incident and D.H.S. is ensuring increased security presence at the facility. It was not just teachers affected,” Ms. Causey-Gomez said.

She added, “Corrective action has been implemented. Head Start has strict federal guidelines which we follow as well as our facilities are licensed.” Ms. Causey-Gomez said students were also affected by the assault.

Entrance to the Head Start in Kingshill (VI Consortium)

A tour of the facility last weekend revealed that while a security booth at the Herbert Grigg complex included one security officer per shift, there was no security personnel whose job was to secure the Head Start. And the security on duty during our visit said someone should have been at the post during the assault.

Government House acknowledged the incident and said that a report was made to the V.I.P.D. As of Thursday, however, the Consortium had not received a report from the police force.

The administration said Ms. Causey-Gomez had planned on meeting with parents and staff this past Monday as they arrived at the Head Start.

The assault not only laid bare the lack of security at the Kingshill Head Start that could have possibly turned deadly; it also exposed further the mental health crisis affecting the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I think the gentlemen in question is mentally ill and homeless. He needs services. This is an urgent issue to be addressed,” Ms. Causey Gomez said.

Corrections: Sept. 27, 2019

The Consortium made a number of corrections to the story. One teacher and four workers were assaulted; they were not all teachers as previously stated. And a wrong image was used for the facility in Kingshill: There are two Head Start facilities on the Herbert Grigg Complex, one to the immediate right at the entrance, and another in the Herbert Grigg complex itself. Additionally, the workers — including the teacher — transported themselves to the Acute Alternative Medical Group, not the Juan F. Luis Hospital, according to the workers, who spoke with the Consortium this morning. The story has been updated to reflect the correct information.

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

Previous Post

Man Dies After Sustaining Multiple Gunshot Wounds In Barren Spot Shooting

Next Post

Nomination Of VIPD Commissioner Among 43 Measures Approved During Senate Session

Leave a Reply

More Story

Man Dies After Sustaining Multiple Gunshot Wounds In Barren Spot Shooting

ST. CROIX -- A 23-year-old man was shot to death in Barren Spot on Wednesday night, V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer...

September 26, 2019