‘The stuff you see in movies’

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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A businessman from Salelavalu, who is reeling from an estimated $20,000 worth of damage to his business when armed men from Salelologa ransacked it yesterday, is in shock.

Peter Mariner, who operates billiard tables, a flea market stall and a Barber Shop at the Salelologa Market, told the Samoa Observer he feared for his life when young men from Salelologa turned up.

They were armed with logs of wood. One of them had a gun. Having gone through smashing tables and wreaking havoc for mothers and innocent members of the public inside the market, they then turned to his business.

“It’s like what you see in the movies,” he said. “I couldn’t believe this is happening in Samoa. I couldn’t believe that this is what young people in Samoa are capable of doing today.”

The incident happened yesterday morning, after a night of turmoil between young people from Salelavalu and Salelologa. 

Mr. Mariner said he had nothing to do with the dispute apart from the fact that he is from Salelavalu.

“I am deeply saddened because this I my family’s livelihood that these young men have destroyed,” he said.

“They broke my marble pool tables into pieces, they cost about $6,000 each.

“Then they vandalized my barber shop. They threw rocks inside, smashing the place and then they took the hair clippers. 

“Not only did they shatter the doors and mirrors inside the barber shop; they also took scissors and hair clippers.”

At his flea market stall, they helped themselves to his food items and other products.

BUSINESS RUINED: Peter Mariner. Photo: Misiona Simo.
BUSINESS RUINED: Peter Mariner. Photo: Misiona Simo.
The smashed windows.
The smashed windows.
The smashed windows.
The smashed windows.

“It breaks my heart to see our young men turn to violence, when there are better ways to solve these problems.” 

Mr. Mariner said he watched on while they ripped through his businesses.

“All the hard work of saving money to invest into a business that has been damaged overnight is very discouraging,” he said. 

“The uncivilized behavior shown by the youth today is a clear indication that maybe it is time to move somewhere else to set up my business. It is not safe here. They can do this again.”

Mr. Mariner said he has already lodged a complaint with the Police.

“We will see what they have to say about how these young men are to pay for what they have damaged here.

Another stall owner, a mother said the men shoved her aside and threw her cooler of ice blocks, oranges and softs drinks to the floor. They then helped themselves to whatever they got their hands on.

“And this all started over a bunch of young men who had a disagreement and as a result they have had to release their rage on us, this is completely unfair and uncalled for,” she said. 

“For me selling these oranges and popsicles, is the only way to make money and now everything is done as a result of these ruthless idiotic young men. 

“The police only came after the incident and again I was told to file a complaint with them.”

Videos posted on social media saw close to 10 young men, vandalizing the tables and throwing aside coolers used to store ice pops and cold drinks. 

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