Father sets the record straight

By Diedre Fanene 18 March 2016, 12:00AM

A former Police officer who has threatened to sue the Ministry and the Police Commissioner has been accused of acting in an unprofessional manner.

The allegation against David Tomasi comes from businessman and legendary rugby personality, Tuigamala Vaaiga Tuigamala.

“My concern is the general public has been misinformed by this young police officer’s reporting of what took place,” Tuigamala said. “This story that he tried to paint is untrue. I wanted to set the record straight.”

On Monday, Mr. Tomasi told the Samoa Observer that among the reasons for his sacking was an incident where he issued a ticket to the daughter in law of a prominent member of the community. 

“I warned his daughter in law three times for talking on the phone while driving but when she came around on that day, she was still on the phone and so I gave her a ticket,” he said.

Although the story did not mention any names, Tuigamala said his daughters were the ones implicated by Mr. Tomasi.

“I can say that’s actually not true,” Tuigamala said. “I’m not defending anyone here but I’m just speaking up about what actually happened and what took place.

“This information can be confirmed at the Police office if you want to.”

According to Tuigamala, three people were in the car when Mr. Tomasi stopped the vehicle.

 “First of all, his comments about warning my daughter-in-law three times, that wasn’t true and it wasn’t just my daughter-in-law that was in the car, it was my daughter, my daughter-in-law and my grand daughter that were in a rental car.

“Why I made the complaint the next day at the Police station was because I thought my daughter’s were threatened by him when he entered the vehicle after stopping my daughter-in-law for using the phone.”

Tuigamala did not hide the fact that his daughter in law was using the phone but he said Mr. Tomasi had no right to enter their vehicle. 

 “He (Dave Tomasi) then enters the car at his own will which was a surprise to my daughters. 

“Then they were told that they have two options, they either pay the $200tala fine or be locked up and so my daughters were afraid and they decided to go to the Police Station for their own safety.”

But that wasn't all.

Tuigamala said after Mr. Tomasi hopped in the car and demanded the license, something else happened.

“The young police officer recognises the last name and asks if they are related to me which my daughter told him that I am her father and his daughter-in-law and his granddaughter.

“[And] then from there it escalated to “well okay I can let you off” then he asked my daughter-in-law to come back to the same spot that they were pulled off and drops him off there.”

When he lodged a complaint with the Police, Tuigamala said Mr. Tomasi approached him at his Vaimea office to apologise. He also apologised to his son, Bubba Tuigamala.

Later, however, Tuigamala said Mr. Tomasi asked him “to write a letter to support him at his Tribunal.

“I didn’t and I also ended up being summon at his Tribunal.”

Tuigamala said it’s important that people know what really happened. 

“I am only standing up for my rights as a father to my daughters,” he said. 

“When I read the article, I felt appalled. I wanted to get the facts straight.

“I went down to the station and asked the Superintendent who handled my case if this was the right procedure and the Superintendent said no.

“There is no reason for him to hop in the vehicle at his digression without asking my daughters whether it was right because from my perspective why couldn’t he just give the ticket and tell them to go pay the fine.

“So this story that he tried to paint is untrue. I wanted to set the record straight and from a father’s perspective I was more concern about the safety of my daughters that were in the car.”

By Diedre Fanene 18 March 2016, 12:00AM

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