WE stayed eight nights at the Coconut Bay Resort on the southeast end of St. Lucia. On the second morning (December 14) we wanted to go for a walk and experience the local culture in the nearby town of Vieux Fort. We stopped by the Resort’s Guest Services desk and specifically asked about this town and whether it was safe to walk there and back during the day. Both employees at Guest Services assured us that it was in fact safe to walk there and suggested a park we could visit, along with a local lighthouse. So we relied on their advice to our terrifying detriment.
On our walk back from Vieux Fort, we used the main road, less than a mile from the Resort, the road curves and is very close to the beach. Under a couple Coconut Palms was a park bench and a short path leading to the beach. Siting on the bench were two athletic looking young men (ages maybe 14 and 18). We walked past the men to the beach to take some pictures. The men got up walked past us down the beach, turned toward us and starting talking to each other. Just as my wife finished taking a picture with her iPhone 6 the men came up to us and asked if we wanted them to take our picture. We said “no thank you.” Almost immediately, the older guy about 18 pulled out a six inch blade knife and said to my wife “GIVE ME YOUR PHONE!” We both started screaming. The knife wielding lunatic started lunging toward my wife, waving the knife within inches of her chest. Then both guys grabbed my wife, spun her around like a rag doll and yanked the iPhone out of her hands. Once they had the iPhone ($800 value), they briskly walked down the beach as if nothing happened. After checking to make sure my wife was not physically injured, I started to follow the guys to see where they were going. The older guy stopped, turned toward me, pulled out a machete and started waving it over his head in my direction. Fearing for my life I stopped and turned back.
This crime took place at 2:00 p.m in broad daylight right off Micoud Highway at Anse des Sables Beach. It is abundantly obvious that St. Lucia has a serious violent crime problem. How many teenagers do you know that walk around waving knives and machetes? A kind Samaritan driving his car saw what happened and took us to the police station.
We hope you will print this article so that tourists will be aware and no one will lose their life as a result of a robbery gone bad.
— Hugh Iwanicki