A day after dragging a woman out of her car and beating her, a man who was out on bail broke into the same woman’s home, threatened to kill her, and damaged property including an iPhone 6s, prosecutors alleged in Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.
He received bail again.
Earl Hazel Jr., a 24-year-old construction worker of Baughers Bay, was charged with five complaints last Thursday: assault causing actual bodily harm; disorderly conduct in a police station; two counts of criminal damage; and criminal trespass, Magistrate Khadeen Palmer read.
After the magistrate read the charges, Crown Counsel Lyn Daley read the allegations.
According to Ms. Daley, on Oct. 17, Mr. Hazel and the complainant drove from the complainant’s home to the Baughers Bay residence of Mr. Hazel’s mother.
There, “the complainant assisted the defendant with some travel documents,” Ms. Daley alleged.
When a heated argument ensued between Mr. Hazel and his mother, the complainant tried to intervene and defuse the situation, according to the prosecutor.
Deciding to leave the residence, the complainant went back to her jeep and locked all the doors, Ms. Daley read.
Mr. Hazel then jumped on the hood of the jeep and asked her to remain in the residence, the prosecutor read.
The complainant “continued to drive away,” but after Mr. Hazel shouted for his mother’s help, the complainant slightly rolled down her window to speak to her, Ms. Daley alleged.
“The defendant then opened the complainant’s driver door and pulled the complainant out of the motor jeep by her neck and started to hit her in the head and about her body,” Ms. Daley alleged. Mr. Hazel continued to hit the complainant even as his mother tried to intervene, the Crown counsel read.
‘Attacked her again’
Mr. Hazel then drove the complainant’s car and parked it about ten feet away, while the complainant tried to walk away to evade Mr. Hazel, Ms. Daley alleged.
“The defendant then attacked her again by grabbing her by her neck and dragging her along the concrete ground in the direction where he parked her motor jeep,” Ms. Daley alleged.
A neighbour then stepped in and stopped the attack, and at about 9 p.m. another neighbour called the police, Ms. Daley read.
An officer arrived on the scene, “where she met the complainant and certain things were told to her,” Ms. Daley read.
Although the complainant was invited to seek medical attention, she refused, Ms. Daley added. The defendant was also met at the scene, and after being cautioned and informed that a police report was made, he replied, ‘“We had a little argument,’” according to the prosecutor.
After being taken to the Road Town Police Station, Mr. Hazel declined to take an audio/video interview, she said.
He was granted bail of $5,000 the next day, Ms. Daley read.
The next day
After receiving bail, the complainant claimed, Mr. Hazel called her at roughly 8 a.m., asking her to come by his apartment in Baughers Bay, according to the prosecutor.
The complainant further claimed that when she said no, he begged her and she ended the call, Ms. Daley alleged.
At around 9:30 a.m., Mr. Hazel went to the complainant’s apartment and demanded that she open the door, the prosecutor said.
The complainant told Mr. Hazel that she was not talking to him anymore, and when he said he had hidden some money inside and wanted entry, the complainant said he should return with the police, according to Ms. Daley.
Mr. Hazel pounded on the door, but left after the complainant said she would call the police, the prosecutor alleged.
At about 10:30 a.m., after making sure the defendant was gone, the complainant left with a co-worker and installed some video cameras, Ms. Daley read.
Mr. Hazel returned to the residence at about 5 p.m. and again began pounding on the door, according to the prosecutor.
The defendant then went to the bathroom window and called to the complainant to open the door, Ms. Daley alleged.
“She then heard the bathroom glass window break, and when she looked she saw the defendant had broken the glass … with his hands,” the prosecutor read.
The complainant told Mr. Hazel to stop, but he kept saying she should open the door, and then went around to the kitchen and punched another glass, punched through a mesh screen, and pulled down a curtain, according to Ms. Daley.
When he stopped and went around to the front door, the complainant noticed that he was trying to unlock the door, the prosecutor stated.
Eventually Mr. Hazel entered the residence, threw a pair of red pliers at a window, and threatened her, stating “that he will kill her,” Ms. Daley alleged.
“She began to scream, as she was terrified,” the prosecutor added.
She tried to call the police, but the defendant grabbed her phone, an iPhone 6s, and threw it on the ground and stomped on it, Ms. Daley alleged.
“She continued to scream, and the complainant indicates that the defendant only stopped after the police had arrived to the scene,” the prosecutor said.
After she finished reading the allegations last Thursday, Mr. Hazel said that “everything [that] happened there … was a lie,” but the magistrate told him to allow his attorney Michael Maduro to make any submissions at the appropriate time.
Mr. Maduro made an application for his client’s bail, arguing that Mr. Hazel was charged for bailable offences and that he does not pose a flight risk
“The purpose of bail is for a defendant … to attend court, and there is no evidence here that the defendant is likely to abscond,” Mr. Maduro said.
He added that Mr. Hazel is a Virgin Islander who works construction.
Though Mr. Maduro acknowledged that Mr. Hazel had been granted bail on Oct. 17, he said the defendant claims that he had requested but not obtained police assistance to help him retrieve his clothing from the complainant’s house, and that it is “improper for the court to decide whose side is right and whose side is wrong on the actual day of the hearing.”
Mr. Maduro added that the court could attach conditions to his bail that would restrict him from interacting with the complainant.
Opposition to bail
While Ms. Daley conceded that “the paramount consideration” should be whether or not the defendant appears in court, she said there are other grounds by which a defendant could be denied bail, including the possibility of interference with a witness.
As the defendant was previously granted bail for a matter involving the complainant and then “proceeded to go to her home and perpetrate further acts … equally as violent as the first instance,” this would be a reason to deny bail to protect the witness, Ms. Daley countered.
Without explaining her reasoning, Ms. Palmer offered bail of $30,000 with a signed surety and three conditions: Mr. Hazel must surrender his travel documents; report to the Road Town Police Station every Monday and Friday between 6 a.m. and noon; and avoid coming within 200 feet of the complainant or any of family members or interfering with her directly or indirectly, including via social media or an intermediary.
“If you breach these bail conditions, your bail will be revoked and you will be held until the completion of your trial,” Ms. Palmer said.