Harbour Master captain claims Grenadian champ was aggressor


Grenada's national hero Anderson Peters after winning silver in the javelin throw at last month's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.  -
Grenada’s national hero Anderson Peters after winning silver in the javelin throw at last month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. –

Noel Cooper, captain of the Harbor Master, said his crew members were the victims of the incident that led to world javelin champion Anderson Peters being pinned in Grenada on August 9 and falling from the ship.

Video circulating on social media appeared to show Peters being beaten by five men and then thrown overboard. Investigations resulted in the ship being impounded and six Trinidads charged with aggravated assault, assault and theft.

The accused were Cooper, 42; John Alexander, 55; Mikhail John, 35; Lance Wiggins, 45; Sheon Jack, 28; and police officer Abiola Benjamin, 40.

In a public statement, Cooper said he needed to set the record straight for his “peace of mind.”

“I understand that Anderson Peters is one of Grenada’s national heroes, but he is also a human being and should be held accountable for his actions.”

He said the incident happened after he sailed the rescue cruise and he instructed the crew of sailors to start preparing the boat for the next cruise. He saw his crew urge and encourage a group of men to abandon ship, but the men refused.

Cooper claimed Peters became aggressive and paced up and down the ramp. He claimed he approached Peters and asked him to leave four times, but Anderson cursed and insulted him for being Trinidadian.

“On the ramp, I informed Anderson that I am the captain of the ship. Anderson responded by cursing me and throwing water in my face. I tried to avoid further arguments by walking away from him, down the ramp and back onto the main deck. Arriving on the main deck, I realized that a member of Anderson’s clan had just attacked my cruise manager, Benji, by punching him in the face. My crew tried again to get the men off the boat but they continued to resist with aggression.”

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He claimed Peters spat at him and tried to punch him in the face and his team defended themselves.

“The videos circulating on social media show only a small portion of what happened and do not show the attacks my crew received from Anderson and his group. The brawl eventually moved to the ramp. With all the scrambling, Anderson lost his balance and fell into the water. Nobody threw Anderson in the water.”

He said he and his crew were relieved that Peters was pulled out of the water and safe. Peters continued his aggression and refused to leave the boat until police arrived.

“A mob gathered outside and said we attacked Grenada’s national hero. In my line of work I make an ode to the protection of all souls on every ship I command, I would never intentionally harm another human being. I understand Grenada’s love for Anderson Peters, but I believe the public should know the truth about the situation.”

In a statement Thursday, Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell condemned the attack and wished Anderson a speedy recovery from his minor injuries.

“Like so many of you, I watched video of the altercation involving our national sporting icon and international champion, Anderson Peters, and am alarmed and disturbed by what was shown.

“As a government, we unequivocally condemn violence of any kind and urge all citizens and visitors to adopt a respectful attitude towards different perspectives and to choose rational debate about extreme behavior.”

All of the accused were to remain in police custody pending their court appearances on Monday.

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