Two men detained over Caribbean homophobic attack

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Saint Maarten’s Commissioners of Tourism, Theo Heyliger and Romeo Fleming, have confirmed the apprehension of two additional suspects in the attack against two gay American TV producers last month, bringing the total of those detained for their alleged participation in the incident to three.

In a joint statement Mr Heyliger and Mr Fleming said, “The entire community of St Maarten expresses its gratitude for the cooperative efforts of the Chief Prosecutor’s office with French officials in apprehending these individuals.

“We are pleased that those responsible for this heinous crime on St. Maarten have been identified and will be brought to justice. Our concern has been, and always will be, for the safety and security of all who visit our island.

“This community is firmly committed to being a welcome environment for persons of all ethnic, religious and social orientations.

The statement by the tourism commissioners points out that St Maarten is a destination that has long been recognised for its safety, friendliness and absence of crime.

Both Commissioners also confirmed that Chief Prosecutor for the Windward Island, Taco Stein, is continuing his investigation noting that he is still seeking the detainment of two additional suspects and taking possession of the vehicle in which the suspects were travelling.

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.

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