Onetime anti-government activist Joshua Hakken, who allegedly kidnapped his two children from their grandmother’s home in Florida, has reportedly been spotted in Cuba with his wife on the boat authorities said they used to make their escape.
CNN reported on Tuesday that a man at a marina in Havana identified himself as 35-year-old Hakken, while being seen with a woman fitting the description of his wife, 34-year-old Sharyn Hakken.
The couple was seen aboard a blue sailboat named “Salty,” matching the description of the boat authorities in Florida said the two used to take their children, 4-year-old Cole Hakken and 2-year-old Chase Hakken. CNN reporter Patrick Oppmann said he saw one child on the boat. The man who identified himself as Joshua Hakken did not answer questions, and a marina official reportedly told CNN to leave the premises.
Officials suspected Cuba would be the Hakkens’ destination after Joshua Hakken allegedly zip-tied his wife’s mother, Patricia Hauser, and took the two children from her home on April 3.
A State Department official told CNN that authorities in Havana were working with the U.S. Interest Section, but that account was contradicted by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, which said Monday night that it had not been told about the case.
The couple lost custody of the children on April 2, 2013, the end result of Joshua Hakken’s June 2012 arrest for allegedly selling drugs in front of them at an “anti-government gathering.” At the time, police said they mentioned “completing their ultimate journey” and that they were taking a cross-country “journey to the Armageddon.”
WTSP-TV reported that after the two boys were placed in foster care, he went to their facility allegedly waiving a gun, but was not allowed to enter. Two months later, a warrant was issued for his arrest for failure to appear in court.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.