Guns and boats stir up Coral Bay

Allegations that VI government employees, toting guns, harassed and intimidated Coral Bay boat owners are being investigated by the Department of Planning  and Natural Resources.

Commissioner Alicia Barnes announced an internal probe after her office “received complaints from several St. John residents about DPNR officers brandishing weapons and cutting mooring lines in the Coral Bay area,” she said in a news release.

Director Roberto Tapia of the Division of Environmental Enforcement confirmed his officers were involved “in a week-long initiative in Coral Bay to rid the area of illegal moorings and to enforce on the many unregistered vessels in that area.”

 The owner of Coral Bay Marine commented to the St. John Source. Sandy Mohler said, “What they did was wrong, unacceptable and illegal.”  Read the Source story here.

In a posting to YouTube, TheDweave69 described a video clip saying it showed “agents checking registration of dinghies … officers walking back down from the parking lot showing their gun etiquette after intimidation, interrogation, and demanding ID from anyone … They are not concerned about boats in the parking lot.

14 thoughts on “Guns and boats stir up Coral Bay”

  1. Too bad you don’t have the audio. They did this before under Roberts when they “raided” Johnson Bay and tried to intimidate everyone out of the Bay. And other instances in Coral Bay. Gotta love the firearms expertise with the AR, waving it around like a little kid. Great training. This is what you get when . . . never mind. It never changes. Remember Blue Lightning and who was . . . never mind. Good way to get targeted.

  2. Agree with comment about waving fire arm around. Appears very careless and dangerous. Are these folks our trained govt. officials?? Whole scene has a third world feel to it.

  3. As a former Army 19D with many years of experience in the use of Weapons and security work all I say about the video we all watched is who hired these idiots? Waving around an AR rifle that appears to be both locked and loaded in such a manner violates EVERY weapons safety law. Now, if these…people…were acting as agents of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands it would be time to call in the Federal Authorities on them, especially the FBI. Thugs with Badges are the last thing anyone needs. Especially in on some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean.

  4. A large portion of the unregistered vessels are the results of the DPNR refusing to sell mooring permits. It took 3 years for me to get a permit.
    And Tom, “who hired these idiots?” their relatives and friends, training? Hahahaha Also note the professional attire.
    Now they want to raise the mooring fees so they can hire more racist friends and relatives on the pretense they will actually work to enforce the regulations.
    The only solution is for every boater in the VI to refuse to pay any fees for moorings or registrations. They have nowhere to put 10 boats let alone 1000’s and the “fraternity” will have no funding.

  5. If one of my kids waved a weapon around like that I’d slap them bald. All three of them grew up with shotguns, rifles and handguns and have better firearms knowledge than any of these “law enforcement” officers. But hey, de mon dem have a RIGHT to show you who boss. Which was precisely what this “enforcement action” was all about. Remember when Ms. Roberts-Francis (or vice versa), whose family owns land out by Johnson Bay, sent out the thugs to board boats, intimidate and handcuff people?

  6. Oh, and Tapia was laughing about the complaints at the meeting. That’s cute, but that’s what you’re dealing with, and don’t expect any changes.

  7. My first reaction is that it was wrong for DPNR officers to bring weapons along on their enforcement action in Coral Bay.
    Yet, thinking about it some more, it really did make sense . After all, and let’s face facts, there are some live-aboard true nuts in Coral Bay and I wouldn’t put it past a few of them – that I know of – to resort to violence if they felt like it w/respect to being told their boat is illegally moored and must therefore leave right away.
    I would also have more sympathy for the boat owners who use Coral Bay as their cesspool, flushing their septic systems straight into the bay, time and time again…
    Then there are the abandoned and sinking/sunk boats as well, and contrary to what passes as learned thought in Coral Bay, it’s the responsibility of the boat owners to get rid of these eyesores!

  8. Therefore the most recent thuggery by DPNR is justified. Great. And Tapia laughing about it when its described at a meeting. And an idiot waving an AR around like a toy. Great. Real pros here, huh?

  9. Now, now Mathman, they wouldn’t do that would they? …on the other hand considering that nepotism IS the LCD of the VI nowadays, you might have a point. However, regardless of that, Weapons safety and professionalism go hand in hand, something these Agents of the Gov. of the Virgin Islands should try to work on in the future.

  10. Ah wee! You’re in a small, small camp Curtis. A lot of people would agree with the need to clean up Coral Bay, but most of the derelict boats were abandoned long ago. The community makes an effort, and there are a few old boys that won’t put up with overbearing LEO, but arguing that DPNR might feel threatened is silly. You seem to just want liveaboards to go away. Who is it touching off automatic weapons fire in Coral Bay in the wee hours? Ever hear it a few years ago when Victor’s was closing? Or when the party at Sputnik was ending? Was that boaters? Where was law enforcement then? Naah. This is just the same old intimidation that’s deeply rooted.

  11. I have to agree with CoralBayian, Curtis you are in a small and 1/2 informed camp. It’s true that the live- aboards do contribute to the bays’ pollution but the majority is from goats, donkeys and land based bacteria washed into the bay in heavy rains. Many of the boats do use holding tanks. If it’s dry for a long period you can see to the bottom of the bay, which used to be far deeper. Silt from land development is filling in the bay and contaminating the water.
    As for the violence, the safest places on the island are the national parks and on the water in Coral bay. I’ve never heard gunshots from a boat but I’ve heard plenty from land.
    Overall St John is very safe but it will get safer as the disfunctional VI police fail to meet the federal requirements resulting in more federal involvement.

  12. Yeah. I don’t have a boat in Coral Bay anymore. But Mathman, you are semi-buying the line about liveaboards contributing with any significance to pollution. I doubt it. I’ve been between STT and STX and have seen mile long strings of waste paper, human waste islands, etc. from the cruise ships. What the liveaboards may pump in (illegally, I might add) is insignificant in comparison to that, agriculture and development. On another note, I was recently threatened by STJVIPD for deigning to report a crime in Coral Bay. The duty guy told me to go away (I dare not say their rank or who, because they’ll get me if they can), or “come in and fill out a report” for something that was going on at the moment. I called his boss on STT, he called me back and wouldn’t answer any questions until I told him my physical address and the location of my boat. The crime was committed and never addressed by VIPD. Nothing ever changes. The attitude of the DPNR officers is no different than Enid Edwards. She threw her weight around for years, and now is doing 12 1/2 federal. Good. I hope shes reflecting daily on her crimes. They all need to be scared straight.

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