Mother tells of escaped prisoners attack horror

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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PRISONER: Lauititi Tualima.

PRISONER: Lauititi Tualima.

The Police are investigating an incident where members of a family at Ululoloa were attacked on Thursday morning when four prisoners escaped from Tafa’igata Prison.

Among the escapees was Lauititi Tualima, the man involved in the Treesort rape in 2015 where he tied up a male while he raped his wife at knifepoint. 

The incident became the subject of an infamous 60-minute programme where Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was forced to defend the state of facilities at Tafa'igata Prison.

On Thursday, Tualima was joined by Vaioa Solia, Aniseko Vaelei and Uili Manuleleua. Tualima and Solia have since been recaptured.

Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Logoitino Filipo, told the Weekend Observer yesterday they have beefed up the search for the prisoners remaining at large.

He also confirmed that they are investigation claims the prisoners attacked two family homes where they allegedly assaulted innocent members of the public.

One of them is a prominent businesswoman and mother of three who has been left with facial injuries and nightmares about the ordeal.

Speaking to the Weekend Observer, the woman who asked for her name to be withheld, said she is scarred for the rest of her life. 

She is angry that the Samoa Prisons and Correction Services have let the public down with prisoners escaping once again.

According to the woman, she is convinced that it was Tualima who was in her bedroom. 

“He leaned towards me with a knife and pushed me onto the bed,” she said. “He threatened to stab me and then he punched me on the face. 

“At some point, my youngest daughter woke up and was screaming and he pulled her off the mattress. 

“I then had to take control of the situation. I just told him - just relax and that my purse is there, just take it. He just took my iPhone and ran off.” 

The woman said she was afraid for her family’s safety. 

“My daughters were in the kitchen with some other knives trying to fend off the others who were outside.  

“I thought it was just Lauititi there and it wasn’t until I spoke to my daughters. When I screamed they saw another guy running out of the house and that’s when I realized there were two guys in the house. I’m not sure where the other guy was.” 

The mother is grateful her daughters are safe.

 “I contacted the Police right away and the response was impressive,” said the mother. 

“They responded very fast and they tracked down my iPhone and found it where they ditched the phone. The Police officers were very helpful. 

“I’m hoping that he (Lauititi) will serve jail for a very long time. 

“And I hope they prosecute him and give him the maximum sentencing available under the law, so he can stay in jail longer.” 

In the meantime, the woman is not taking any chances with security.

“I am sprucing up my security system and will put in place stronger locks for my doors.” 

The mother told the Samoa Observer the area they live in is easily targeted because it’s close to jail.  

“They think they can break into homes in our areas and take off with some expensive stuff. However in the end, the prisoners ditched my iPhone and so it was useless to take it in the first place.” 

Tualima is serving jail time for several burglaries and his latest conviction was for tying up a man while raping his wife at knifepoint. 

Efforts to get comments from Minister of Samoa Prison and Correction Services, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt and the S.P.C.S. Management have not been successful. 

Superintendent Logoitino assured that the Police are doing their very best to deal with the matter.

“We have increased our manpower and currently close to twenty Police Officers have been tasked specifically to hunt down Aniseko Vaelei and Uili Manuleleua,” he said.  

“This is a priority and we have been working non-stop and will continue on searching for the inmates and until they are caught the police will work round-the-clock to assure safe holidays for our people.  

"Please if you come across the prisoners, do not try and approach them, but call us right away on 911 or 22222. We will respond right away.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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