A good Samaritan vessel and the Coast Guard came to the aid of a scallop crew on Sunday after an alleged attack that ended in one member of the crew being pronounced dead aboard a German cruise ship, one injured and a third charged with murder.
The Coast Guard received a call on Sunday afternoon from the 82-foot scalloper Captain Billy Haver. The boat and crew of seven, based in Seaford, Va., was about 55 miles off Nantucket, Mass., when a member of the crew reportedly attacked “another crew member on board with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, which has taken over the investigation.
The release identifies Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, as a Mexican national in the United States illegally and charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.
According to the release, one crew member who was attacked “then saw that another crew member was lying on the deck bleeding. Vazquez then struck a third crew member. It is further alleged that Vazquez then climbed up the mast of the ship as the others onboard tried to capture him.”
The German cruise ship Mein Schiff 6 took two injured crewmen for medical treatment. The ship’s doctor pronounced one dead shortly after. A 270-foot Coast Guard cutter also responded, and a law enforcement team boarded the Captain Billy Haver at sea. All three ships then headed to Boston.
Vazquez “was charged with one count of murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and one count of attempted murder,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. He is expected to appear in federal court in Boston.
The charges carry sentences up to life in prison and fines up to $500,000. Vazquez will also be subject to deportation after serving any sentence that may result from the charges.
According to court documents, Vazquez was also arrested in Newport News, Va., in March for “abduction by force, intimidation, or deception, and released on bond.”
Lindsay McDannald told WCVB news that the charge was related to an attack on her daughter, Vazquez’s fiancée. She reported that Vazquez is a heroin addict and that he assaulted her daughter, “strangled her and kept her against the wall.”