Mexican national charged in deadly hammer, knife attack on fishing boat off Nantucket

NANTUCKET, Mass. (WHDH/AP) — A Mexican national is facing charges after a fisherman on a Virginia-based fishing vessel died during an altercation about 55 miles off the coast of Nantucket over the weekend, officials said.

A Boston-based spokesman says the Coast Guard received a call Sunday afternoon from the 83-foot Captain Billy Haver, reporting that a member of the crew had attacked several other fishermen with a hammer and a knife.

The Coast Guard placed a law enforcement team on board the vessel and arrested Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, on several charges, including one count of murder and one count of attempted murder, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6, responded to the emergency call and took two injured crewmembers aboard. The ship’s doctor pronounced one dead.

Vazquez allegedly assaulted a crew member with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other. The victim saw that another crewmember was lying on the deck bleeding, prompting Vazquez to strike a third crew member, investigators said.

Crew members told law enforcement that Vazquez climbed up the mast of the ship as others onboard tried to capture him.

Court documents indicate Vazquez was living illegally in the United States and that he was arrested in March in Newport News, Virginia, for abduction by force, intimidation, and deception. He was released on bond.

The fishing trawler and cruise ship have since returned to Boston.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Vazquez will be arraigned in federal court in Boston at a later date.

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