Port Everglades, FL, United States (4E) – A cruise ship room attendant has been arrested in Florida for sexual assault and attempted murder of an American passenger while the vessel was sailing off Honduras on Valentine’s Day.
Indonesian suspect Ketut Pujayasa, 28, was arrested Sunday when the MS Nieuw Amsterdam returned to Port Everglades, the FBI said on Tuesday. He had been detained onboard after admitting to the crime to his co-workers.
The victim, a 31-year-old woman, was flown to a South Florida hospital for treatment of her injuries on Friday, when the ship docked in Roatan, Honduras. Holland America Lines (HAL), which operates the ship, has arranged her family’s flight and stay in Florida to be with her. It also fired Pujayasa, who is now held in the Broward County Main Jail pending his bond hearing in Fort Lauderdale next week.
Pujayasa, who was hired by HAL in 2012, told the FBI that he attacked the woman as punishment for offending him on Friday morning, when he delivered breakfast to her room.
The woman said, “Wait a minute, son of a bitch!” according to a report of FBI Special Agent David Nunez.
When Pujayasa was off-duty that night, he looked for the passenger on deck planning to punch her in the face.
He decided instead to enter the woman’s stateroom using a master-key and wait for her there. When the victim returned to the room, he attacked and tried to rape her. When the woman fought back and screamed, he struck her with a laptop and curling iron, punched her and wrapped a telephone cord around her neck.
The commotion drew attention from another guest, who knocked on her door.
The woman told FBI agents that Pujayasa tried to pushed her overboard in the balcony while the ship was on international waters. But she broke free and ran into the corridor, where another passenger helped her. She was wearing a tank top covered with blood.
Pujayasa, who was naked below the waist, escaped through the room’s balcony and returned to his cabin. He told his roommate to call security.