The commissioners of tourism of St.
Maarten and St. Martin issued a joint denunciation of a recent
attack against two American men, calling the attacks barbaric and
journalists Dick Jefferson and Ryan Smith were attacked with tire
irons outside a bar in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, by three men who
had yelled anti-gay slurs. Both were transferred to Miami for
treatment where Jefferson has since been released and doctors
believe Smith may have suffered brain damage.
statement from Theo Heyliger, commissioner of tourism of St.
Maarten and Romeo Fleming, commissioner of tourism of St. Martin,
said, the entire community of St. Maarten/St. Martin expresses its
deepest sympathies for the pain and anguish suffered by Ryan Smith
and Richard Jefferson and their families from the vicious attack
that occurred on our island.
went on to say that the destination has long been recognized for
its safety, friendliness and absence of crime and that the
community is committed to being a welcome environment for persons
of all ethnic, religious and social preferences. We consider this
to be an isolated incident that is in no way representative of the
behavior of our citizens.
These crimes wont
go unpunished, the statement said.
Heyliger said St.
Maartens chief prosecutor and our police force are leading an
extensive and intense investigation and I am confident that we will
bring those responsible to justice in a timely manner.To contact the reporter who wrote this
article, send e-mail to David Cogswell at [email protected].