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HomeNewsLocal newsFight Over Car Keys Leads to Domestic Violence Arrest, Police Report

Fight Over Car Keys Leads to Domestic Violence Arrest, Police Report

Derrick Callwood Sr., a law enforcement officer with the V.I. Taxicab Commission who announced in January that he plans to run for the V.I. Senate as a Republican this fall, was arrested Thursday for simple assault, domestic violence in a dispute with a woman following the Carnival J’ouvert celebrations on St. Thomas, the V.I. Police Department reported on Saturday.

According to a probable cause fact sheet filed in V.I. Superior Court on Friday, the woman called police at 10:50 a.m. Thursday to report an assault, telling them that she and Callwood, 45, were in the vicinity of the Veterans Drive Annex waiting for her friend to find them after J’ouvert when he became upset because he wanted to leave.

Callwood proceeded to grab her by the arm and drag her away from the venue and yelled at a security guard who saw the woman was crying and tried to intervene, telling the guard “not to touch him because he is a police officer” and would arrest him, according to the court filing.

The woman said Callwood began pulling her towards the Department of Finance and told her he wanted to get his items out of her vehicle, so she gave him the key to deescalate the situation but he began to argue with her and accused her of causing a scene, the fact sheet states.

She told police that Callwood returned her car keys and she walked away across the street but as she glanced back, he was running towards her, dragged her again and started fighting her to get to her purse. He removed the keys and drove off in her vehicle, she said, and not wanting to get him into trouble because he’s an officer, she walked back to the venue to wait for her friend.

However, Callwood then approached her in the vehicle, grabbed her by the head and dragged off her bonnet and shower cap, causing her to stumble, according to the fact sheet. She called 911 and he left in the car, reportedly getting into an accident around the corner, police said.

The woman, 38, sustained scratches and bruises during the ordeal but declined medical treatment, according to the police.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Callwood was advised of his rights, refused to provide a statement and was placed under arrest for simple assault, domestic violence, according to the police. He was detained overnight and released on $1,000 bail at his advice of rights hearing on Friday.

In addition to simple assault, domestic violence, Callwood is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and disturbance of the peace. His bail conditions include that he must reside at his Hidden Valley address on St. Thomas and may not leave the island without the court’s written permission.

Callwood, who also bills himself as a businessman and formerly worked for the VIPD, announced at a GOP fundraiser in January that he planned to run for the V.I. Senate as a Republican this fall. He told the crowd at the soiree at a private home on St. Thomas that he has always been interested in politics but decided to throw his hat in the ring after talking with former Sen. Adlah Alphonso “Foncie” Donastorg Jr. and National Committeewoman April Newland.

Callwood, who said he was a local taxi operator, boat captain and proprietor of the café at the ferry terminal in Red Hook, told the crowd he would focus on the economy, having “experienced the economic hardship” of the current administration and questioned why more progress hasn’t been made on rebuilding the territory’s infrastructure, considering the federal money that has poured into the islands after the 2017 hurricanes and then again during the pandemic.

Reached on Saturday, a spokesperson for the Republican Party in the Virgin Islands said it has “not yet nominated, endorsed or selected any candidate for office in 2024. The individual in question is not a candidate, is not a member and does not hold any position with the party. As such, it would be inappropriate for the party to comment on a private individual’s arrest.”

Thursday’s arrest was not Callwood’s first brush with the law, according to reports. In 2013 he was arrested and charged with assault and battery/domestic violence after his girlfriend told police he grabbed, dragged and pushed her out of his apartment, causing minor bruising, police reported at the time. According to available court records, the case was dismissed after the girlfriend recanted her statement.

Callwood was an 11-year veteran of the VIPD at the time and was placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. In 2015 he was fired from the police force, a decision that he appealed in a civil suit that remains before the court.

According to the Division of Personnel employee database, Callwood is a “taxi inspector” with the Taxicab Commission, earning $46,412.53 annually.

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