Sandals Resorts exec resigns after partner sacked over caught-on-video brawl: sources

They had trouble in paradise. 

A Sandals Resorts exec and his colleague lover were caught on video in a wild brawl in the Caribbean that left them both jobless, The Post has learned.

On March 2, Sandals art curator Rafael de Vasconcelos attacked his partner, the hotel chain’s chief development officer Eugene Staal, on a highway in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, shoving him into a ditch and then climbing on top and pummeling him, according to published footage and co-workers.

Former Sandals art curator Rafael de Vasconcelos attacked Eugene Staal, his colleague lover and a former Sandals exec, while the pair were on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. YouTube @iWNSVG1

The couple, who left a function around 11 p.m., were staying on the island ahead of a new Sandals resort opening there last week, a senior executive said. 

During the altercation in the village of Lowman’s Hill, de Vasconcelos shoved Staal into a concrete ditch along the highway while a black car idled in the middle of the road, footage showed.

He then screamed at Staal as he hopped on top of him before repeatedly slamming his head into the concrete. 

De Vasconcelos then got into the car and drove away as Staal stood up and began walking along the highway, according to the footage. De Vasconcelos is later seen again screaming at Staal and then storming off. 

De Vasconcelos pummeled Staal’s head into the concrete ditch multiple times before getting into a car and driving away. YouTube @iWNSVG1

Police responded to the incident, according to local outlet iWitness News, and sources said it was unclear what sparked the dispute. 

“I don’t know if they had too much to drink [but] when I watched the video, it was very brutal,” the senior executive told The Post, adding Staal received medical treatment after the attack. 

“I remember watching the video and thinking ‘This guy’s lucky to be alive’ … I was surprised he could get up and walk,” he said. 

Staal, a veteran hospitality executive who previously held positions at Hyatt and Penta Hotels, joined Sandals in 2022, according to his LinkedIn. De Vasconcelos, who previously worked as a fraud analyst for Apple in Lisbon, Portugal, joined the company in January.

Eugene Slaat (seen above) resigned after his partner was asked to leave the company, according to an email sent to Sandals honchos, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.  Linkedin Eugène P. E. Staal

Days after the footage of the couple’s fight began circulating around the company, de Vasconcelos was asked to resign, the Sandals senior executive said. 

Soon after, on March 11, Staal resigned “for personal reasons,” according to an email sent to Sandals honchos, a copy of which was obtained by The Post. 

“At the higher levels, it’s a little embarrassing to see that exposure,” said one senior employee.  

A Sandals spokesperson confirmed Staal and de Vasconcelos were no longer Sandals employees, but declined to comment on the reason for their departures.

Staal and de Vasconcelos did not respond to requests for comment.

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