One Greek and seven Serbian nationals are been accused to have beaten to death 22-year-old American tourist, Bakari Henderson, in the early morning hours of Friday outside a bar in the tourist resort of Laganas, on the island of Zakynthos. All suspects were taken to prosecutor under security measures on Saturday evening. Authorities raised charges for joint homicide by intent.
Evaluating surveillance footage from bar, the reason for the brawl seem to be a selfie with one of the waitresses.
The coroner’s findings shock: “Henderson was beaten even after he was unconscious.”
Six more suspects were arrested by Greek police on Saturday in connection to the killing of 22-year-old American tourist, Bakari Henderson, who was beaten to death in the early morning hours of Friday outside a bar in the tourist resort of Laganas, on the island of Zakynthos.
Policemen raided the hotel where the alleged suspects were staying and detained six Serbian nationals who were reportedly recognized through CCTV camera footage taken from shops next to the bar where the incident occurred. According to sources, the footage showed the suspects beating the American even after he appeared to be unconscious.
Already on Friday, police arrested a 34-year-old Greek and a 32-year-old British national of Serbian descent, who worked at the bar was barman and doorman.
All suspects denied charges and involvement in the death of Henderson. They at least deny “intention” in the killing.
Several suspects started to cry in front of the police, private ANT1 TV reported. The Greek barman allegedly said he rushed to help his colleague and he had no intention to kill the tourist.
Footage from security cameras from inside and outside the bar helped police identify them.
The 8 suspects on the way to prosecutor who raised charged for joint homicide by intent. They remain in custody, interrogation is expected to start on upcoming Tuesday.
Serbia’s foreign ministry said Saturday that the detained Serbs were to appear before a judge.
Greek police did not release a possible motive for the attack.
A ‘selfie’ triggered the brawl?
The victim was at the bar “bar code” with friends on Friday, when a brawl broke out between the Americans, two bar workers and a group of Serbian customers. The bar is frequently visited by Serbian nationals spending their vacation in Laganas.
Analysis of video footage from inside the bar seem to clarify the circumstances of the crime, local media report. Police tends to believe that it was a ‘selfie’ with a waitress that led to the brawl. I read somewhere that also the waitress was a Serbian national.
A summary by Zantepress24.gr:
“Henderson and his friends are having fun, at some point the victim goes to a waitress in order to take a ‘selfie’ with her. There seems to be some kind of pulling and pushing, a misunderstanding, the Serbian doorman intervenes. Henderson’s friends seem to be quarreling with some Serbian customers, things get out of control in seconds, the quarrel turns into brawl. The 22-year-old victim slaps the doorman, the 32-year-old Serb attacks him. The beating up of Henderson has begun, his friends are unable to protect him. The victim runs out to the street, his attackers catch him and beat him to death. They beat him even after he appeared to be unconscious.”
When Henderson was taken to hospital on Friday morning, doctors could only confirm his death.
Shocking autopsy findings
The autopsy of Bakari Henderson had been concluded at the Patras University Hospital. His body is expected to be transported to the USA for the funeral.
The coroner’s finding say that Henderson’s death was caused by repeated punches in the head. Some of them caused brain hemorrhage. In addition, injuries were found all over his body. The coroner found no marks of self-defense. According to private ALPHA TV, one of the injuries was caused by a broken beer bottle.
Video by Alpha TV – among others quotes by eyewitnesses in English
The family of Bakari Henderson of Austin, Texas, identified him as the victim. His family said Henderson was in Greece working on a photo shoot to launch a clothing line. Bakari graduated from the University of Arizona in May with a business degree.
“Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, traveling and meeting new people,” a family statement said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures.”
Greek media reported it was the last day of Henderson’s vacation in Greece.
Zakynthos reputation ruined?
The killing in Laganas has gained enormous publicity not only in Greece and USA but also worldwide. A day before the incident, the mayor of Zakynthos and other official bodies had met in order to take measures to prevent alcohol-fueled brawls.
In a report, ANT1 TV said that brawls is a frequent phenomenon in Laganas which is mostly visited by young foreign tourists between 18 and 30 years old mainly because of its cheap prices for alcohol and for the opportunity to ‘go wild’ – something which is not possible in their countries. A shot is to have for half a euro and a cocktail drink for 3 euros.
Other islands that had their own “Laganas” managed to take measures and the situation in control. Faliraki on the island of Rhodes has became “clean”. In Mallia, Crete, touristic facilities improved their services and rose a bit their prices, Greek media reported.
Somebody opened a thread in tripadvisor.com forum asking whether Zalynthos was safe for vacations.
One of the local media wrote that several defamatory articles and reports were published about the island after the killing.