5 NY Tourists Plead Guilty In Antigua Police Brawl

Five New York tourists pleaded guilty Saturday to fighting with plainclothes police officers after disputing a $100 cab fare during a cruise ship stopover. Prosecutors dropped charges against a sixth tourist.

The trial lasted nearly a month before prosecutors and defense attorneys reached a deal Saturday in nearly two hours of talks. Two sisters who pleaded guilty cried during the proceedings.

The tourists from Brooklyn are to be sentenced Monday for their guilty pleas to different charges, among them beating a female police officer and using indecent language. Those are considered minor offenses that usually carry a fine.

Defense attorney Steadroy Benjamin said he was satisfied the deal was reached once the trial was under way because it gave everyone an opportunity to hear evidence from both sides.

Police officers testified the tourists hit them, bit them and pulled their hair after the cab driver drove the group to a police station when they refused to pay a $100 fare.

One of the tourists, Shoshannah Henry, testified she felt the amount was twice what they believed was owed. She also accused the officers of starting the fight Sept. 4 and said she thought police were going to kill them.

Prosecutors presented dozens of pictures that showed the officers' injuries, including one of a bite wound that required stitches.

Court officials delayed at least a dozen other cases to expedite the trial of the Americans, who stayed with local residents who volunteered to house them.