Mughshots of Kylee McEwen of Tennessee, left, and Curtis Ramsey of Arizona, right. By THE VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT
ST. JOHN — A couple has been granted bail following a violent altercation which saw them both charged with disturbance of the peace and simple assault categorized as domestic violence.
Curtis Ramsey, 39 of Arizona, and 29-year-old Kylee McEwen of Tennessee were arrested after police responded to a report of a dispute at Fish Bay in St. John on Friday, September 10th. Police were called to the scene by Ramsey who alleged that he was kicked in the chest by McEwen after she asked him to wash his feet before getting into bed, a request he dismissed. He claims that McEwen assaulted him by striking him in the back with a broom and punching him to the side of the head. According to the probable cause fact sheet, Ramsey alleged that he responded by shoving McEwen out of the way so that he could leave. He further claimed that while he was being assaulted, he struck McEwen to the side of the head with the palm of his hand, an act he maintains was done in self defense.
However, according to McEwen’s version of events, she simply ‘nudged’ her partner in the chest with her foot after asking him to wash his feet as she had just washed the bedsheets. The defendant claims that Ramsey responded by punching her in the chest, causing her to hit him with the broom out of fear. McEwen further alleged that she was punched in the head and throat by her domestic partner.
There were no witnesses to the incident, which took place at a house which the couple temporarily occupied while the owner was away. However, investigations revealed that both Ramsey and McEwen had injuries to their bodies, some of which suggested an ongoing physically abusive relationship.
After having their injuries attended to at the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, the pair was booked and subsequently transported to St. Thomas by ferry to be processed by a forensic unit. As per the domestic violence law, no bail was granted and the defendants were detained pending their advisement hearings which were held on Monday.
Both Ramsey and McEwen were represented by Attorney Alexia Furlow when they appeared for separate virtual hearings before Judge Caolyn Hermon- Percell. Assistant Attorney General John Barraco noted that despite Ramsey being convicted of disorderly conduct in 2014, there was nothing else to suggest that he posed a danger to the community. The judge agreed to the defendant’s release on an unsecured bond of $250, noting that he had no criminal contact within the jurisdiction since his arrival in St. John about two months ago. As part of his bail conditions, Ramsey has been ordered to maintain residence aboard his boat anchored at Coral Bay Harbor and to report to the office of probations twice weekly via telephone.
With a history of prior arrests without conviction in the U.S., McEwen was also released on an unsecured bond of $250. However, the Judge noted that McEwen’s options for residence were limited as she is currently unemployed and accompanied Ramsey to St. John on his boat. With Ramsey’s expressed consent, it was eventually agreed that McEwen could maintain residence aboard his vessel. Judge Hermon- Percell emphasized that the defendants were not to have any unlawful contact with each other which includes fighting. In response to these orders, Ramsey enthusiastically responded “absolutely, I’m looking forward to that!”
Both McEwen and Ramsey are scheduled to appear before the court for separate arraignments scheduled for Monday, October 1st, 2021. If found guilty of disturbance of the peace, they each face a maximum fine of $100, or maximum imprisonment of 90 days or both. If convicted on the assault charges, they each face a fine not exceeding $250, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.