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Rokosevua Tells Why She Reacted To Apprehend Assault Accused

Rokosevua Tells Why She Reacted To Apprehend Assault Accused
48 year old Mereoni Rokosevua. Photo:Nicolette Chambers
December 31
15:50 2016

As far as bravery is concerned, women are equally capable.

Earlier this week, Mereoni Rokosevua, from Bureitu in Nakelo, Tailevu, had helped catch a 54-year-old man who allegedly had assaulted his wife.

What was astounding is that the 48-year-old woman physically went out of her way to catch the accused, despite her pleas to some men who were at the scene to help the woman who was heard screaming.

Ms Rokosevua, who is a sales manager at the Village Handicraft Boutique and Tour in Nadi, said on the day of the alleged incident, she had decided to hang around at the shop after business hours.

“Soon after 7pm I heard someone screaming from the other end of the building. So I took a peep through the window and saw people standing around the house where the noise was coming from,” Ms Rokosevua said.

“I knew the tenant of that particular house. The resonance that I heard was of someone really scared and crying out for help. So I locked everything up and I ran all the way to where I thought the sound was coming from. On my way there the screaming had stopped.

“When I asked those by-standers as to what was happening, one of them told me that something was happening inside (the house) and that there was a woman who had been screaming from inside but had stopped, and they thought she was dead.

“Suddenly, I saw this shadow moving around the house and I knew they were still inside.”

Ms Rokosevua than pleaded with some of the men at the scene to go over and investigate, but when she was ignored, her act of bravery kicked in.

“I saw the accused use the back door and I knew he was going to escape. That’s when I ran from the back of the building through Lodhia Street to try and catch him,” she said.

In pursuit, she had wanted to use a taxi to follow the accused but three of her attempts failed. However, one cab driver did stop on her fourth attempt.

“When I got inside the cab I asked the driver to quickly follow the accused,” Ms Rokosevua said.

In a hurry, she explained to the driver what allegedly took place.

By the time Ms Rokosevua and the driver caught up with the accused he was already crossing the Nadi Bus Stand.

“I asked the driver to please help me apprehend the guy and we took him straight to the Police Station,” she said.

“If the incident had happened somewhere else, involving another woman, would we still stand around and watch while they are being attacked or abused, or are we going to help?”

She said people were fragile.

“In my thoughts when I heard the woman screaming I could tell that she really wanted help,” Ms Rokosevua said.

“It pains me to see people fail to react to such need for assistance.”

The Fiji Council of Churches general secretary, Reverend Simione Tugi, was speechless when he learned of Ms Rokosevua’s bravery.

“I have no words to describe the bravery of this woman,” said Reverend Tugi.

“I feel great that this lady was able to do that, and it is good she was brave enough to stand up and do that.”

The woman who was allegedly assaulted remains admitted at the Lautoka Hospital while the 54-year-old accused is in Police custody.

The accused was produced at the Nadi Magistrates Court on Thursday where he was remanded.

Ms Rokosevua’s act of bravery was one of two public arrests made at the weekend in Nadi.

Early on Christmas Day, a suspect allegedly had tried to grab a bag off a local pilot who was trying to board a taxi at Navakai, Nadi.

A man who witnessed the alleged incident successfully apprehended the suspect and alerted the Police.

Divisional Police Commander/West (DPC/W) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Marika Kotoisuva has commended the brave actions of the two Nadi residents.

Edited by Naisa Koroi




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