Complaint laid over alleged assault

Wednesday June 20, 2018 Written by Published in Crime
The victim’s jaw was broken in two separate places (as indicated by the arrows in this X-ray image). The victim’s jaw was broken in two separate places (as indicated by the arrows in this X-ray image).

An investigation into the alleged assault of a 25-year-old woman holidaying on Rarotonga continues, as further details of the incident come to light.

The woman had her jaw broken in two separate places and showed signs of concussion after she was allegedly assaulted by a group of up to four people, including a man said to be an off-duty police officer, outside Rehab nightclub on the evening of June 6.

The victim’s mother says her daughter was scheduled to return to New Zealand later that night, after enjoying a “beautiful holiday” here on Rarotonga. However, her holiday quickly took a turn for the worse, after an apparent disagreement ended in a serious assault occurring.

“She arrived back here with a black eye, broken jaw, and bruising all over her,” the mother told CINews.

Yesterday the Cook Islands Police Department (CIPD) released a statement claiming they had not received an official complaint regarding the alleged assault.

However, CINews has come to learn that the victim lodged a formal complaint with New Zealand police last Wednesday, launching an investigation into the assault claims.

CINews also understands an officer from the CIPD attended the incident after being alerted by a concerned witness and that the NZ Police have attempted to contact both the CIPD and Rehab Nightclub regarding the incident.

“Someone from the party bus she was on saw that she was injured and confused, so they got an officer,” said the victim’s mother.

“The officer attending said they could do nothing, as she (the victim) told them she couldn’t describe them (the offenders) at that time.”

Speaking exclusively to CINews, the victim’s mother said the family had tried to keep the matter from becoming public, “but nobody was being helpful at all”, which is why a post was shared on social media.

The post resulted in new information being shared about the alleged offenders, including the suggestion that one of them was an off-duty police officer.

“I rung the New Zealand police officer who took a statement from my daughter and told him that information has come up after the complaint was made,” said the mother.

“He said it is making more sense now why we had no reply from the bar or Cook Islands police.”

Yesterday, a CIPD police spokesperson told CINews that the NZ Police have not yet “formally” contacted the CIPD in relation to the incident.

However, this appears to be contradictory to the mother’s claims that the CIPD told NZ police “they knew nothing” about the incident and were adamant “there was no formal complaint made regarding a fight”.

According to the mother, the NZ Police are still going to pursue the complaint.

“I just want the people responsible to come forward,” she says.

Upon being questioned by CINews about the incident, a CIPD spokesperson admitted that “police were aware of a scuffle that was managed by security staff of Rehab on the night” and that the off-duty officer was present at the time of the incident.

However, the spokesperson failed to clarify why no complaint was made on the night, nor why the police had initially denied having any knowledge of the incident.

Referring to the complaint made with the NZ Police, the spokesperson said: “In such cases, NZ Police would defer to the Cook Islands’ jurisdiction for police to undertake the necessary work.”

“In terms of the investigation, inspector Tuaati expects to have completed the file by the end of the week.”

The victim’s mother also wanted to acknowledge “the many beautiful messages of support from the community of Rarotonga” that she and her family had received. “I thank them all for that,” she said.

“It’s kind of funny because she actually missed two flights in one day to get to Rarotonga and now I think perhaps she was not meant to go!”

In the meantime, the officer continues to work on full pay here on Rarotonga, despite being under investigation for a serious and violent offence.

5 comments

  • Comment Link Trevor Friday, 22 June 2018 21:37 posted by Trevor

    Uncivilised is a harsh word, it happens all the time in NZ. Sure these people responsible should be brought to justice, the thing is you've only heard one side of the story, and I have been to Raro many times. People go Raro, and think they are better than the locals and come with an attitude, they go clubbing are drunk and cause trouble!!! One of the all blacks Zac comes to mind, so don't assume you know, because you weren't there, respect the locals and you'll be fine. Kia orana e kia manuia.

  • Comment Link Rebeca Friday, 22 June 2018 15:18 posted by Rebeca

    Now we know that the three accused did not in fact harm this woman because an actual investigation was finally launched instead of this witch-hunt going around falsely accusing people. There's always two sides to the story, do you really think an off duty police officer would do something that stupid? As I was saying, there's always two sides to the story and until you hear both and get to the bottom of it don't be so quick to judge, condemn and bully with suggestions like "getting your ass whooped". It makes you no better than the person who injured the victim. Someone definitely needs to be held accountable and our CI Police is working on finding the actual culprit.

  • Comment Link Sarah oti Wednesday, 20 June 2018 17:53 posted by Sarah oti

    All four of the parties involved in the assault of this young lady , should be brought to justice, as it seems a complaint have been processed only it’s in NZ and not the Cook Islands, however the jurisdiction should still remain the same, these thugs needs to be made accountable for the actions as for the off duty officer, you need your ass seriously whooped & suspended from duties until further inquiries regarding same.

  • Comment Link Tua Nena Wednesday, 20 June 2018 14:43 posted by Tua Nena

    Shame on those uncivilized people involved and the Cook Islands police department come on it's only a small island everybody knows everything that goes on do the right thing!!where's the justice??

  • Comment Link David Wednesday, 20 June 2018 11:35 posted by David

    Norman George will represent the multiple aggressors and claim self defense from the lone vaine. They all will get off.

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