A gay couple and their friend were brutally attacked while staying at a rented cottage on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia last week.
Michael Baker, boyfriend Nick Smith, and their friend Todd Wiggins were returning to their mountaintop cottage Wednesday after taking in the sunset that evening. While Baker and Smith were in the shower, they heard Wiggins scream, warning them to stay in the bathroom. According to Baker's Facebook account, he looked into the cabin's common area to see two men with knives and guns, wearing masks, beating Wiggins.
Despite a struggle to keep the violent intruders out of the bathroom, they broke through, assaulting Smith and Baker, while telling them they hated white people, gay people, and Americans. The attackers tied the men up, threw them in the shower, and ordered them to get off the island.
"They said they would check on us in five minutes, and if we had untied ourselves, they would kill us," Baker wrote. After the attackers left, the men freed themselves from the bindings, and fled the cabin through a back exit, forced to leave their shoes behind, as they left them on the front porch. The three, without shoes, climbed down the mountain, and then walked down an unpaved gravel road until eventually arriving at the home of Wiggins's friends. Baker and Smith returned to the U.S. the following day, and Wiggins came back the day after.
"I don't know the full motivation that drove these five men, but I do know that I can feel pity for them," Baker wrote. "As Todd said, how horrible that this was the only option that they felt [they had]."