U.S. Peace Corps Staffer In Tonga Suffers Brutal Assault; Leaves Country

Woman attacked, repeatedly punched while jogging along Sopu waterfront

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 19, 2016) – A United States Peace Corps staffer has left Tonga today with her husband after she sustained injuries and bruises to her face in a brutal attack, while jogging on the Sopu waterfront at about 9:30am on Saturday morning, 16 July.

Tonga Police are still looking for a man who allegedly attacked and repeatedly punched the American woman (56).

The name of the victim who worked with the United States Peace Corps head office in Nuku’alofa has not been released at this stage by Police, who are concerned for her safety.

It is understood the woman left Tonga today for overseas.

Police in Nuku’alofa stated this afternoon they are waiting on a doctor’s report, which they hope to get sometime this week, to determine the details of her injuries and if a sharp weapon was used.

No weapon was found at the scene of the crime.

Blind spot

Police said the area where the attack took place is on the sidewalk behind one of the residences at the waterfront, which has a tall brick fence

“She was allegedly attacked from behind, while she was running. She was knocked to the ground and punched repeatedly on the face. The offender ran off from the scene when the woman screamed for help while fending him off.”

This area is a blind spot away from the main road, close to the foreshore, near to a bush area. The people who heard her screams ran to help the victim after the attack, but no one had seen the attack.

The victim confirmed that the attacker was a man and that she was attacked from behind. She fell to the ground while being repeatedly punched, and was not able to see anything else.

Police who were called to the scene rushed her to Vaiola Hospital on Saturday for treatment before she was released to go home on the same day. 

Police are appealing for anyone who has any information regarding this attack to come forward.

Blood from the incident was still evident on the sidewalk today.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2016 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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