Boxship Crewmember Charged in Connection With Stabbing Death

msc ravenna
MSC Ravenna (file image courtesy Roger Price)

Published Sep 29, 2020 4:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

A crewmember from the container ship MSC Ravenna has been arrested in Los Angeles and charged with one count of "performing an act of violence against a person onboard a ship that is likely to endanger the safe navigation of the ship," a federal offense. 

Philippine national Michael Dequito Monegro, 41, allegedly used two knives to stab a crewmate on the MSC Ravenna on September 20 while the vessel was en route to the Port of Los Angeles. The victim, also a citizen of the Philippines, died from the stab wounds. Other members of the crew witnessed the attack. After it was over, the captain of the ship convinced Monegro to surrender the knives, according to U.S. prosecutors. Monegro was then detained in a cabin aboard the ship, and other members of the crew took turns guarding him.

According to a crewmember who witnessed the assault, the victim spoke about a crew change for the ship before Monegro assaulted him. The crewmember attempted to intervene, but Monegro pulled a knife and continued the assault. Two witnesses heard him say, "You are the one that destroyed my family," wrote FBI Special Agent Matthew Parker in an affadavit.

The FBI and the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) visited the Ravenna on September 22 after the ship had docked. After obtaining consent from the ship’s owner, the investigators boarded the vessel, took custody of the victim’s body and recovered two knives that the crew identified as the murder weapons. 

According to the investigators' report, the victim was stabbed about 17 times, and he had defensive wounds on his hands. During a shipboard interview, Monegro admitted to stabbing the victim repeatedly, according to the affidavit.

The victim's name has not been released, but charging documents identify him as the bosun (Monegro's supervisor). Monegro told investigators that he believed the victim was following him around the ship, accessing his Facebook account and interfering with his phone calls. 

The charge against Monegro is a felony offense, and it carries a maximum sentence of death or life in federal prison. In a hearing September 27, a federal judge ordered him detained without bond pending trial.