A Florida man on vacation on St. Thomas was arrested after causing a disturbance at the airport, according to an affidavit filed by a V.I. Port Authority officer.
Erik M. Isaksson was arrested Saturday at King Airport after the officer heard a loud disturbance and found Isaksson screaming obscenities at airline passengers and employees while walking toward the airport bar, according to the affidavit.
In his hands, Isaksson was holding a bottle of vodka and his shoes, and he had a shirt tied around his neck “like a scarf” and no mask, according to the affidavit. He sat down and put the liquor and shoes on a table.
The officer asked Isaksson to put on his shirt, shoes and a mask, which caused him to yell more obscenities, and another officer attempted to defuse the situation and escort Isaksson across the street by removing his alcohol and shoes from the table, according to the affidavit.
Officers said Isaksson refused to leave, smelled of alcohol, and “his clothing was wet and embedded in sand.”
Isaksson was arrested and charged with disobeying a lawful order, interfering with an officer discharging his duty, disturbance of the peace, and what is listed in the probable cause fact sheet as “exposure in a public place (Violation of the Governor’s mask mandate.)”
The full title of the last charge is “exposure in a public place while infected with contagious disease,” and Senate Majority Leader Marvin Blyden recently became the first person in the territory ever charged with that crime. Blyden has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is awaiting trial.
The charge requires that the defendant knowingly exposed others to a contagious disease, such as COVID-19, after testing positive.
Isaksson appeared in court Monday for his advice-of-rights hearing, where Magistrate Judge Carolyn Hermon-Percell said there is no evidence Isaksson was infected with COVID-19 — only that he refused to wear a mask in violation of a lawful order — and Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales agreed to withdraw that count.
Isaksson tested negative for COVID-19 at Schneider Hospital before being processed by police, according to the affidavit.
An officer tested in court Monday that Isakkson had caused a disturbance at the airport the day before he was arrested.
His public defender, Paula Norkaitis, said he had a plane ticket to return home to Florida on Monday afternoon after a weeklong trip.
But Hermon-Percell said Isakkson would not be allowed to make the flight, and ordered him to surrender all travel documents. She said he would be released from jail after signing an unsecured $500 bond, but he would only be allowed to return to Florida if he signs a waiver of extradition and his attorney files a motion to modify his conditions of release.