Bee hatch

Crew member attacks workers on scallop boat, killing 1: Feds


A scallop boat crew member has been sentenced to jail after prosecutors say he attacked his crewmates with a hammer and fatally stabbed one with a knife.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Days into a scallop voyage aboard an 85-foot boat, a crew member brutally attacked half of his co-workers and stabbed one to death with a long fishing knife off the shore. Massachusetts shores, according to federal prosecutors.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 31, a Mexican national who lived in Virginia, is go to jail after using the knife and a large hammer in the “unprovoked” attack that took place near Nantucket on September 23, 2018, according to a press release.

“We have a man gone mad here on the boat…” the ship’s captain, Jose Araiza, said in a distress call to the Coast Guard, according to court documents. “We have a man I can’t wake up. I don’t know if he’s dead or what. But one of the crew members has gone mad. He started hitting people on the head with a hammer.

Vazquez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on August 11 after previously pleading guilty to second-degree murder, attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to the statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. He will be subject to deportation proceedings after serving his sentence.

Chaos aboard the ship The Captain Billy Haver ensued after the ship departed a port in Seaford, Virginia/, on September 18 and sailed north on a scalloped voyage with seven men, including Vazquez, who ” got along” with each other, court documents say. The trip was supposed to last about two weeks.

On the morning of September 23, the crew member tried to quit but the captain sent him back to bed, with another crew member describing Vazquez as ‘dopesick’ after a few days of using prescription and off-the-shelf painkillers free, according to prosecutors.

However, Vazquez then joined the job and was shelling scallops with a few of his teammates when he took a puff of one of his colleague’s cigarettes, according to court documents.

Then, “out of nowhere,” Vazquez picked up a hammer and slammed that co-worker over the head before using a long fishing knife to repeatedly stab another nearby teammate, a sentencing memorandum says.

“Freddy, what did I do to you?” the stabbed teammate shouted at Vazquez, prosecutors said.

The commotion was heard by other colleagues below decks in the ship’s ice hold and one of them, who had known Vazquez for 10 years, climbed the ladder and received a hammer blow to head, according to court documents. This caused the bloodied man to fall back into the hold of ice.

Next, Vazquez closed the hatch to the ice hold and covered it with a bucket of scallops to prevent those inside from leaving, according to the sentencing memorandum.

Meanwhile, as the stabbed crewman was bleeding on deck, Vazquez approached Araiza, the ship’s captain, and attempted to stab him during a fight, prosecutors say. Vazquez broke away from the fight and ran to another area of ​​the ship, giving Araiza enough time to issue a distress call which was heard by other boats.

This led to a nearby German cruise ship sending a rescue boat, which carried two crewmates, including the stabbed one, to the cruise ship to safety, court documents show. There, the stabbed person was pronounced dead by a doctor.

Ultimately, the Coast Guard arrived, secured the ship and apprehended Vazquez who said “I am not a criminal,” according to a sentencing memorandum.

Vazquez’s attacks on his teammates, who had “no reason” to suspect the violence would occur, were described as “deeply personal and without motive” in the sentencing memorandum.

Prosecutors say Vazquez’s 20-year prison sentence will provide him with “much-needed treatment for mental health and addiction.”

“It was a horrific act of workplace violence,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a statement. “Today’s sentence, while it cannot erase the trauma and pain caused to the families of the murder victim and the survivors of the brutal attack, I hope it brings some responsibility. “

Vazquez’s sentence will also be followed by three years of probation, according to the statement.

Nantucket is an island off Cape Cod.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is a College of New Jersey alumnus and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she has written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.