Mother fears for son’s life

By Nefertiti Matatia 01 May 2018, 12:00AM

A mother, whose son is fighting for his life after he was bashed outside a local nightclub, is a worried woman.

Leena Uepa is not only worried about her son’s life, she has raised concerns about the safety of other partygoers in Samoa in the hope that it would lead to better measures taken to protect nightclub revelers. 

Mrs. Uepa’s son, Markou Pangas, 20, is undergoing life saving surgery at a hospital in Sydney, Australia, after he was beaten at the Marina on the night of 20 April 2018. Mrs. Uepa told the Samoa Observer her son, together with his cousins, were beaten by men at the bar. 

Medical reports from the Samoa Medical Department provided by the family shows that Markou sustained injuries on his skull and nasal bone. Markou had come to Samoa with his grandfather and cousins, Jdeci Edmonds and Justyce Edmonds, on 18 April 2018, for a holiday. According to Mrs. Uepa, Markou’s two cousins were also beaten. But it was her son who sustained the most serious injuries. 

The mother said the treatment – including that from the Police – was appalling.

“The officer refused to take my boy to the hospital. He also refused my son his rights to make a Police statement that morning (4am). My son encountered a fractured nose and skull,” she said. 

“His doctor said he is lucky to be alive. My two nephews were glassed and stabbed…. at least 15 locals helped with their bashing.”

She said the Police still have not contacted her about the complaint that they filed with them.

“On the night in question, my son called me whilst in the Police vehicle and handed the officer his phone for me to talk to the officer."

 “This is a very unfortunate incident. In fact, I couldn’t be more pleased to let it be known that young tourists are not safe in the nightclubs in Apia."

“My Samoan is very minimal, but I understand 100 per cent. My youngest nephew had his wallet ripped from him, phone and even his t-shirt and thongs. The items were in his bum bag which also had car keys and T$400.”

According to Jdeci, they just went out to have to have a few drinks with his brother and cousin Markou.

“Around 12:30am, we stood up and thought of leaving for home. We walked outside the bar and a guy pushed me forward, I looked back and I saw three guys and they were saying something in Samoan of which I don’t understand, then punched me in the face and I can still recall it’s more than five times from all these guys."

“I got dragged out by the security. The security took me out to the road and started punching me on the face and later on other two guys came and helped the security to assault me."

“I started to fight back and they knocked me down then I got up and started to run but they caught me again. The same security guard came for the second time and punched me in the face and knocked me to the ground,” said the 20-year-old.

 “I can’t remember anything by then, but just got up and ran away from there. I got near the bridge at Vaisigano and I saw my brother, Justyce, at the other side of the road."

“A group of girls came to us and helped us in the taxi while a group of guys kept running towards us. These girls also tried to stop them."

“I can recall the security guard that I just mentioned because I have seen him most of the time there when we go there for dinner, also he was wearing a yellow shirt with the security name written in black ink on it, he is 6’2 bulky, short curly hair, kind of choppy, but solid build.”

Markou said he had to run and hide at the seawall because all these boys were after them. They were just trying to make their way to their hotel at Insel Fehrman, Motootua.

“We didn’t fight nor did anything rude inside the bar. I don’t understand why they chased us. They punched my nose and my left eye has also some serious scratches and I recognized about 10 males including a security guard at the bar because they were in yellow uniform."

“I stood up and ran along the seawall where I hid for half an hour because I was injured and very frightened. My cousins were also injured and I was trying to look for them.”

Contacted for a comment, Marina Bar owner, Daryl Scott, told the Samoa Observer in a phone interview that the incident might not be true.

“You might be reporting fake news,” he said. “So you better contact the Police here and make sure the facts are correct before reporting any news. They are the ones that you need to talk to."

“Basically we have given them all the data.”

Mr. Scott said he would not comment further.

“It is the Police that you should be speaking to,” he said. “If they (Police) cannot release anything, then there must be a reason.”

Efforts to get comments from the Police were unsuccessful as of press time.

By Nefertiti Matatia 01 May 2018, 12:00AM

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