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Officials call on Anguilla to guarantee Darien man’s safety at court appearance

Connecticut

DARIEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Less than two weeks before he heads back to Anguilla, Scott Hapgood stood on the steps of Darien town hall

“We are still in shock that a simple vacation that we looked forward to for so long, turned into a nightmare,” Hapgood said, tears in his eyes.

The Darien banker and his family were staying at a resort in Anguilla back in April. A man in a hotel uniform knocked on the door. They let him in, and then they say Kenny Mitchel pulled out a knife and attacked them. Hapgood fought back and Mitchel later died while in police custody. Anguillan authorities charged him with manslaughter.

“He’s not a man looking for trouble,” said State Rep. Terrie Wood (R – Darien), who said she has known Hapgood since he was a boy. “Trouble came his way and now it’s a situation he tragically has to deal with.”

Local officials and friends stood side by side with Hapgood and his family, calling on the federal government to guarantee safe passage to and from the island. This as Hapgood gets ready to go back for another court appearance.

WEB EXTRA: Officials call on Anguilla to guarantee Hapgood’s safety

“I go back and forth to Anguilla in the face of significant dangers to make sure that the facts come out, because the hard science shows what really happened,” Hapgood said.

That science now shows Mitchel had a lethal amount of cocaine in his system when he died, although prosecutors waited months to release that information. The official cause of death was changed to drug overdose, leaving supporters wondering why Hapgood is still facing charges.

Anguilla is a British territory and Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling on the US state department to work with British authorities.

“To guarantee these due process rights: basic fairness, transparency, a swift conclusion,” said Blumenthal.

Blumenthal has written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to work with the U.K. to protect Hapgood’s safety ahead of the trip.

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