Harbour Master captain claims Grenadian champ was aggressor

Grenada's national hero Anderson Peters after winning silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England last moth in the sport of javelin.
Grenada's national hero Anderson Peters after winning silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England last moth in the sport of javelin.

Noel Cooper, captain of The Harbour Master, said his crew members are the victims of the incident that led to world javelin champion Anderson Peters being restrained and falling off the vessel in Grenada on August 9.

A video circulating on social media appeared to show Peters being beaten by five men and subsequently thrown overboard. Investigations resulted in the vessel being impounded, and six Trinidadians being charged with causing grievous harm, assault and stealing.

Charged 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 human and should be held accountable for his actions.”

He said the incident occurred after sailing the Recovery cruise and he was instructing the deckhand team to begin preparing the boat for the next cruise. He saw his crew asking and encouraging a group of men to leave the ship but the men refused.

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

“While on the ramp, I informed Anderson that I was the captain of the ship. Anderson responded by cursing me and throwing water in my face. I tried avoiding further altercation by walking away from him, off the ramp and back onto the main deck. When I got to the main deck, I realised a member of Anderson's clan had just assaulted my cruise manager, Benji, by slapping him in his face. My crew tried once again to get the men off the boat, but they continued to refuse with aggression.”

He claimed Peters spat at him and tried punching him in his face, and that 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 scuffling, Anderson lost his balance and fell into the water. No one threw Anderson into the water.”

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

“A mob gathered outside saying that we attacked Grenada's national hero. In my profession, I make an ode to protecting all souls on every vessel I captain, I would never intentionally harm another human. I understand Grenada's love for Anderson Peters but I believe the public should know the truth about the situation.”

In a statement on 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, too, viewed the video of the altercation that involved our national sporting icon and international champion, Anderson Peters, and I am alarmed and troubled by what was shown.

“As a Government, we unequivocally condemn violence of any kind and call on all citizens and visitors to maintain a posture of respect to differing perspectives and to opt for rational debate over extreme behaviour.”

All of the accused were expected to remain in police custody until they appear in court on Monday.


"Harbour Master captain claims Grenadian champ was aggressor"

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