Man detained over Caribbean homophobic attack

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A suspect has been detained over the homophobic attack on two news producers in the Caribbean.

The Chief Prosecutor for the island of St Maarten, Taco Stein, has confirmed that two men were questioned by police, one has been released and one is in custody.

No names have been revealed, but he said: “This guy is talking, and according to the information he’s giving us, we expect to arrest at least three other men.”

CBS news producer Dick Jefferson and his friend Ryan Smith, 25, also a producer, were beaten unconscious by a homophobic gang on the Caribbean Island at the beginning of April outside a bar.

Mr Jefferson, 51, criticised the police’s lazy attitude after Mr Smith was left with brain damage in the attack, he said: “Their attitude was sort of like, ‘It’s a tourist, who cares?'”

I’m just sick over what happened,” said Justin Swensen, 23, who lives with Mr Smith and was also in St Maarten with him.

The group of men were confronted by local residents after being seen holding hands, the gang tried to run them over, and then got out of the car and hit the two news producers.

There were many witnesses to the attack, but police failed to turn up until everyone was gone.

Tourism officials from St Maarten this week promised to find and punish the perpetrators.