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Accusations traded between police and detainees in Antigua

Six Carnival cruise ship passengers hit and choked the police. Or, the police punched the passengers in the face. A week after the half dozen New Yorkers were arrested, the only thing that's clear is that both sides say they're right.

While on a 10-hour port call in Antigua, the cruise passengers paid a taxi driver to give them a tour of the island. The tour ended at a beach – rather than back at the cruise ship – and the once happy wanderers balked at having to shell out $100 on top of the $50 they'd already paid for the ride. A brawl ensued, and the police were called. The mayhem ended with incarceration.

The passengers were let out on $5,000 bail on Monday but have to stay in the country until the trial is concluded. Dolores Lalanne, Mike Pierre Paul, Joshua Jackson, Shoshonna Henry, Nancy Lalanne and Rachael Henry all entered pleas of not guilty to charges including battery and malicious damage. Prosecutors dropped the assault charges.

The trial began Wednesday, with the police testifying that the New Yorkers behaved aggressively. One officer, Alcia Browne-Weston claimed to have been kicked in the stomach and then choked by one of the tourists. Meanwhile, the defendants say the cops – not wearing uniforms – did not announce themselves before starting the altercation. Shoshonna Henry claimed to The Associated Press: "We thought these people were going to kill us."

The trial is set to continue today.

Filed under: Antigua and Barbuda, News, Caribbean

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