A 16-year-old boy who was at the receiving end of a nasty beating has told of the horror he and his friends were subjected to in Apia last week.
The beating at Mulivai has Lanu Palepoi, of Talimatau, bruised and shaken.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Mr. Palepoi said the attack was unprovoked. He said him and his friends were hanging out when a group of young men approached them and started trouble.
“It was around 11pm and we had just came back from McDonald’s,” he said.
“So we decided to park the car and go out for some fresh air on the bridge before we head home.
“Suddenly, we noticed a group of youngsters walking straight to us. They didn’t ask questions. They just started punching us for absolutely no reason.”
Horrified about what was happening, one of his friends sought refuge at a taxi stand nearby.
“But two other guys from the group ran after him and started beating him up,” he said. “My friend said nobody helped him while he was getting beat up.”
Mr. Palepoi on the other hand was already on the ground.
I was trying to fight them off but there were too many of them. They started kicking and punching me and I was helpless. It wasn’t until a security guard of Ace came and that’s when they ran off.
“They ripped off my clothes and took all of our money that night. So we went to the police station and they (police) took us to the hospital.”
Since the beating, Mr. Palepoi’s nose has not stopped bleeding. He is suffering from internal injuries and his face is badly bruised.
His mother, Anna Tofoipupu Palepoi, said seeing her son in such a state has left her angry and sad. “When he came home, he couldn’t eat,” she said. “Even right now, he can hardly talk because of his bruises.
“Looking at him like this, I just want to find the people who did this and kill them all.
“I’m a single mother who raised them up and never laid a hand on them. For him to come home looking like this is just not right. Words can’t explain how I feel right now when I look at him.”
Back to Mr. Palepoi, he said the memories of what happened are horrific.
“I was helpless,” he said. “I thought to myself, what have we done to deserve this? All we did was just stand there. We were just hanging out and next minute we were getting beaten up. I thought they would never stop.”
Initially, Ms. Palepoi said her son didn’t want to speak up but she wanted to tell this story to warn other parents.
“This is the first time I’ve allowed my son to go out with his friends because I get worried and now he came back with this,” she said.
“To make it worse, the taxi drivers these kids ran to for help. I couldn’t believe it when the kids told me that they (taxi drivers) didn’t help them. “I mean what if it’s their relatives? Would they still sit there and do nothing? My son and his friends are Samoans and I thought that these are all our children and that our people are loving and kind.”
The mother went on to say that she only found out on Saturday morning when her son got dropped off.
“My son told the police not to call me but still I’m sure there’s a law that a parent must be informed when incidents like this happen and especially he is under aged too,” she said.
“So what if something happened to him? Would they still listen to this kid and not call me?
“I don’t know I’m just hurt, I feel so helpless because I can’t do anything and he could’ve been killed that night and I wouldn’t have known.”
Ms. Palepoi urged the parents not to let their kids out at night or anytime of the day. “This happened to my nephews as well two weeks ago and they didn’t want to speak up,” she said.
“Now it has happened to my son, I will not be silent because if I don’t speak up, then this will continue.
“The message I want to send to the parents is be careful about letting your kids out because there are losers out there who have nothing better to do than going around and beating up kids.
“What do they get out of it? Does beating up other people’s children give them a better future? No, it only makes them cowards and losers.”