A student at the Oceania University of Medicine has become the latest victim of an assault and attempted robbery on the scenic Beach Road in Apia.
Robert Duprey, 48, was attacked behind the government building last Sunday during his routine run on the seawall.
“I run 10k every Sunday and I was doing that last Sunday,” he told the Samoa Observer.
“There was a man who was just walking (on the sea wall). I was running and I said, ‘good morning.’
The man asked Mr. Duprey about where is from.
“I said the ‘U.S’ and I kept running. About 30 seconds after he comes up from behind me, punches me in the face and throws me down and tries to take my wallet and phone.”
“He hit me really hard from behind. I’m on top of the seawall and I fall down to the bottom. When I’m falling, I knew I was being attacked. “
It was then that Mr. Duprey went into fight or flight mode.
But the assailant chose the “wrong palagi” to mess with.
Mr. Duprey is a former U.S. Army man and knows karate. At 5’10’’ and 90 kilos, the American has a friendly demeanour but the stealth and build of an avid runner.
“I get up but he tries to come at me three times and I fight him off,” he said.
“Then he comes at me with a coconut and then I get ready to fight but he starts running away because another man was coming to help me.
“I had blood all over my nose and face but he didn’t get my things.”
Mr. Duprey described his attacker as a young, tall, skinny Samoan male in his early twenties. He was wearing “skirty” shorts and “appeared to be very filthy.”
He believes the man was “high” judging by the look in his eyes.
“He looked like he was high on drugs because he had a strange look in his face.
“I don’t think he’s very smart because I’m athletic and I’m not small. I weigh more than him and I’m taller.”
The Good Samaritan who came to the aid of Mr. Duprey said he recognises the man and knows what village he’s from.
However, Mr. Duprey could not recall which village.
After the attacker ran away, Mr. Duprey and his confidante called the Police to help because Mr. Duprey’s nose was heavily bleeding.
However, after waiting thirty minutes, the police did not turn up.
Bleeding, distressed and concerned, the two walked to the Police station.
“We walked to the police station and gave a police report and then the other man who helped me gave information to the police, that was on Sunday.
“I didn’t hear anything back but I don’t expect to hear anything back because they are probably hard to find.”
Luckily, Mr. Duprey walked away with minor injures.
Mr. Duprey is adamant that the incident does not change his view of Samoa or Samoans.
“The Police and hospital were very friendly,” he said.
“Everyone reassured me that he’s a bad man and that is not the Samoan way. I don’t look at Samoa as a bad place because I almost got mugged. This hasn’t changed my opinion about this beautiful place.”
He will continue to run his usual route, this time a bit more cautious.
It was not possible to get a comment from the Police yesterday.