It Is My Civic Responsibility, Hero Tells

Iowane Savenaca captured an 18 year-old  teenager in Cunningham Road after he had robbed a woman of her mobile phone on Thursday afternoon.
17 Jan 2021 11:35
It Is My Civic Responsibility, Hero Tells
Siblings (front left) Petero Muavesi, Suliano Komai (back left), Iowane Savenaca (middle), Lorosio Civoniceva (back right) Samuela Kava (front right) are proud of their brother at their home in Nadera on the 16th January 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

When Iowane Savenaca jumped out of a moving bus to chase an alleged grab and run suspect, he made up his mind that he was going to catch him.

Mr Savenaca captured an 18 year-old teenager in Cunningham Road after the he had robbed a woman of her mobile phone on Thursday afternoon.

The alleged grab and run incident took place at around 8.45pm on Thursday. Mr Savenaca and his family were returning to their Nadera home in a bus from the Suva Bus Stand when the incident happened.

The 20-year-old from Wailevu, Tunuloa in Cakaudrove said he risked his life to ensure that the alleged suspect paid the price for the crime he had committed.

According to Mr Savenaca, growing up in the village and watching his father, who is a retired Police constable, working hard to combat criminal activities inspired him to apprehend the suspect that night.


What happened

“No one told me to jump and chase the suspect, I saw what he did, it was wrong, and I didn’t want him to run away without being punished,” Mr Savenaca said.

“I wasn’t related to the woman but at the back of my mind I knew, it could have happened to my mom or sister and that’s why I did what I had to do,” he said.

“It is my civic responsibility.”

Mr Savenaca just arrived in Suva from Lautoka with his father and younger brother.

“We all got into the Nadera bus to come home from the Suva Bus Stand,” Mr Savenaca said.

“There were three young men that also got into the Nadera bus and went right to the back seat, it was quite packed with people,” he said.

“While we were travelling, I could sense that they were up to something because by hearing their conversation I knew they were intoxicated. I sat three seats before the back seat.

“When we approached the bus stop just outside the Queen Elizabeth Barracks near Cunningham these three boys rang the bell and got out of the bus.”

He said when the trio got off the bus, two of them sat at the bus stop while the alleged suspect kept standing.

He added that as soon as the bus started to move, the man leapt up to the window of the bus and grabbed the phone from the lady.

“The victim shouted, that was when I jumped out to run after the suspect.

“I nearly got bumped by a vehicle that was turning into Cunningham because I was not really aware of any other thing but in my mind, I told myself that I was going to catch the culprit.

“It was dark and when I neared the bend where the entrance of the RFMF Engineering quarters was, I could not see anyone.

“There were a few boys standing in the opposite direction telling me that he had run up the road and by that time a taxi driver who also saw what had happened stopped his taxi and told me to hop in so that he could help me search for the man.

He said after nearly 20 minutes of searching with the help of bystanders he finally caught the suspect hiding in a cassava patch.

“We caught him; we took him to the guards at the RFMF Queen Elizabeth Barracks and then Police were brought in and took him for questioning.

“We met with the woman again at the Police Station on the same night where I had returned the phone to her.

“She was emotional when she acknowledged our help.”

On Friday, Fiji Police Force Chief Operations Officer Abdul Khan praised Savenaca’s heroic act.

ACP Khan said he was grateful for such an effort and hoped the public would assist Police in arresting those involved in such crimes to ensure everyone’s safety and security.




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