Shocking news from aboard a Holland America cruise ship, the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, which sailed from Florida earlier this month set for the Caribbean: A ship worker reportedly confessed that he’d raped, beat and strangled a passenger before trying to throw her overboard from her balcony on Feb. 14, federal authorities say.
The alleged reason he gave for his actions? He felt slighted when she responded unfavorably to his knock on the door to deliver breakfast one morning, reports the South Florida Sentinel.
According to the FBI agents’ report after interviewing the 28-year-old worker, he said he was delivering the food to the victim’s stateroom and knocked three times before she said anything. That’s when she allegedly yelled, “Wait a minute, son of a bitch!”
“[The suspect] stated that the passenger’s comment of ‘son of a bitch’ was offensive to himself and his parents. He was angry and upset the rest of the day,” an agent wrote in the report.
He tried to find her later elsewhere on the ship “in order to punch her in the face,” but when he couldn’t, he said he used his master key to get into her room and hide on her balcony where he fell asleep.
The victim told officials that she was attacked with no warning in her room in the middle of the night. She says he raped, beat, punched and strangled her and then tried to throw her from the balcony into the ocean in international waters somewhere off the coast of Roatan, Honduras. He reportedly admitted to doing so.
The worker told agents he fled when he heard knocking at her door and jumped from balcony to balcony to escape, broke into another stateroom and fled to his staff cabin, where he told his roommate to call security because he’d killed a passenger.
He was quickly detained and arrested by the FBI upon the ship’s arrival back in Florida on Sunday on charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual abuse. He was immediately fired him his job, the cruise line said.
The victim was airlifted to a hospital as soon as the ship docked, and Holland America flew her family in to be with her while she undergoes medical treatment.
“We continue to work closely with authorities to understand how this incident occurred and what additional actions we can take to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,” Holland America said in a statement yesterday, calling it a “senseless assault” that shook the company to its core.
Cruise worker admits he raped, tried to throw passenger overboard, feds say [South Florida Sun Sentinel]