Holland America Crewmember Arrested For Vicious Attack On Passenger

Mike Schuler
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February 19, 2014

File photo of MS Nieuw Amsterdam

A Holland America crewmember has been placed under arrest following an alleged assault on a female passenger aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam cruise ship this past Friday.

Holland America has confirmed that a 31-year-old female onboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam was assaulted by a 28-year-old crewmember in her stateroom in the early morning hours of Friday, February 14, 2014.

A report from cruise industry website Cruise Critic identified the crewmember as Ketut Pujayasa, a 28-year-old Indonesian citizen. The report, which cited FBI documents, said that on Friday morning Pujayasa was making a room service call to the victim’s cabin when he heard a woman’s voice say, “Wait a minute, son of a bitch.”

RELATED: Affidavit Details Holland America Cruise Ship Attack

The report said that the comment enraged Pujayasa, who later sought out the victim in her cabin and on deck to “punch her in the face.” Pujayasa eventually returned to the victim’s cabin later that night and used his master key to enter the room, where he ambushed the victim and began punching and strangling her. At one point the scuffle moved out onto the balcony, where Pujayasa attempted to throw the victim overboard, the Cruise Critic report said. The victim eventually fought her way out of the room to seek help.

A statement from Holland America Line said that the victim was cared for and her condition was stabilized in the ship’s hospital. She later disembarked the ship on Saturday in Roatan, Honduras, and was transferred by air to a hospital in the United States, the statement said.

The crewmember, who has been terminated, was then placed under guard on the ship and the crime scene was secured by the ship’s officers and security personnel. He was later remanded to the custody of the FBI and Broward Sheriff’s Office on Sunday upon the ship’s scheduled return to Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Further reports in the media say that Pujayasa was booked on charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual abuse.

The Holland America statement added that the individual was hired in 2012 following a careful screening that included a clean criminal history check and he had no performance issues and came with good references.

“At Holland America Line, the safety of our guests is our highest priority, and we are shocked and deeply saddened by this incident,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “To our knowledge, no incident like this has occurred in our company’s 140-year history.”

At the time of the assault, the MS Nieuw Amsterdam was on a seven-day, roundtrip cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the western Caribbean that departed February 9.

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