A St. Thomas couple is accused of orchestrating a horrifying kidnapping and hours of brutal torture by two Crucian “hitmen,” that only ended when a V.I. Police officer spotted the victim attempting to flee, according to documents filed in V.I. Superior Court.
Troy Harrigan, 51, of Estate Tutu, was arrested Monday evening and charged with false imprisonment and kidnapping for ransom, third-degree assault, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and possession of a dangerous weapon, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed by police.
Harrigan’s girlfriend, Louvina Pringle, was arrested Tuesday and charged with aiding and abetting false imprisonment and kidnapping for ransom, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting third-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon during a crime of violence, according to her fact sheet.
Their arrests came after V.I. Police Lt. Claudius Hippolyte noticed a disturbance on Skyline Drive on Monday and stopped to investigate.
Police found a beaten, bloody man who said Harrigan and two others had been torturing him — apparently at the direction of Pringle, who he is related to and “set him up to get killed,” according to the fact sheets.
The victim told police that the ordeal began at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, when he received a call from Pringle telling him to go to Home Depot to help her boyfriend, Harrigan, move two generators.
Once he arrived, the victim said Harrigan told him the generators were actually at a construction site in Wintberg, so he drove to that location. At the site, the victim said two masked men approached “and identified themselves as [Crucian] hitmen,” and at least one had a handgun with a silencer, which they forced into the victim’s mouth.
Telling him they were going to kill him if he didn’t hand over $800,000, Harrigan and the “hitmen” began to beat the victim, according to the fact sheets. They broke his phone and chained him at the wrists, ankles and waist to prevent escape. Bound, the victim told police that Harrigan began hitting him with a hammer on the head, face and hands.
Police said the victim’s right eye was completely swollen shut from the blows.
The victim told police his relative, Pringle, “was in constant communications with Mr. Harrigan while he was being assaulted and tortured,” and at one point, she spoke to him on Harrigan’s phone and “asked him to please tell her where the money is located, and he told her that he does not know about any money.”
The victim said that in addition to the beating, Harrigan used “a very sharp knife and stabbed and slashed” him “on all his fingertips, his hands, his arms, his belly and his legs.”
During the torture, the victim kept giving Pringle and Harrigan “fictitious locations to go and search for the money because he did not want to die.”
Harrigan continued the torture until about 3:30 p.m. Monday when he finally said he was “tired of this,” and told the victim that “five men are going to come pick you up, take you on a boat, chop you up, and feed you to the fish near Cruz.”
The victim told police he believed Harrigan would kill him “since he already been through so much already.”
With the two masked men already gone, the victim “saw his window of opportunity” for escape when Harrigan left him alone in a vehicle as he smoked a joint.
The victim told police he jumped in the front seat and hit the gas only to have Harrigan climb back into the vehicle. So he opened the door and “rolled out” onto Skyline Drive, where officer Hippolyte was stopped and spotted him.
As soon as he realized police were there, the victim said “he felt safe and happy to be alive,” and said he “strongly believes that ... Pringle set him up to get killed.”
Harrigan fled the scene in the vehicle, but was shortly apprehended “near the torture location,” and blurted out an admission that he’d kidnapped the victim because he believed he’d stolen $800,000, according to the fact sheet.
Pringle was arrested the following day after she went to the police station to inquire about a car that she’d rented which had been towed by police, and eventually admitted that she “had actively participated during the course of the kidnapping by assisting Harrigan,” police said.