A worker on a Holland America Line cruise ship has been arrested after he was accused of raping, beating and strangling a passenger before trying to throw her overboard, the FBI said Tuesday, according to media reports.
Ketit Pujayasa, 28, an Indonesian citizen, was arrested Sunday on charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual abuse, and was taken from the ship to the Broward Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after the MS Nieuw Amsterdam returned to Port Everglades.
The incident occurred early Friday morning in international waters, off the coast of Roatan, Honduras. The cruise ship had departed from Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 9 for a seven-day Caribbean cruise.
According to reports, the victim, a 31-year-old American woman, told investigators that she was attacked and raped in her stateroom. The attacker tried to throw her from the balcony, but she somehow managed to escape and received help from another passenger.
According to the Sun Sentinel, FBI Special Agent David Nunez wrote in his report: “Pujayasa stated that the passenger's comment of 'son of a bitch' was offensive to himself and his parents. He was angry and upset the rest of the day."
Pujayasa reportedly admitted to FBI agents that he was so angry with the woman that he went back to her room after his shift. And, when the woman did not answer the door, he entered the woman’s room with his company-issued master key, and hid on the balcony waiting for her to return.
The victim was flown by air ambulance to south Florida. The victim’s condition was not known, but the cruise company reportedly said in a statement that she had been “stabilized” in the ship’s hospital.
“Holland America Line is continuing to provide full support to the guest and has flown her family to be with her while she receives treatment,” the company reportedly said. “We are terribly saddened by the senseless assault that took place on the MS Nieuw Amsterdam this past Friday, Feb. 14. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family during this difficult time,” adding that the company was working with authorities to resolve the incident.