A police officer on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has recounted a vicious attack launched upon him by local youths while on duty near the Gare du Nord area of Port Louis on February 11th, an eyewitness video of which was widely shared on social media and saw the apprehension of three of the attackers last week.
Constable Sameer Abdool, who was on traffic duty at the Trou-Fanfaron police post in the Mauritian capital, recalls how he noticed a group of young men crowding around a zebra crossing. He approached the men and asked them to be patient “for their own safety” as vehicles surged past on the city’s notoriously busy streets. They disregarded Con. Abdool’s advice and attempted to cross into the road anyway. Abdool then moved forward to stop one of the assailants for fear he would cause a road collision.
It was at that precise moment, according to the island’s French-language media group Le Defi Media, that the attack on the constable kicked off. Darren Eddy Brasse, a local youth aged 22, swung a punch at Abdool, striking the side of his head. “I received a punch to the temple, I felt nauseous“, Abdool told Le Defi. Brasse’s brother, Andy and friend Andrew Brice Samuel joined in the assault once Abdool received the blow to his head.
In the eyewitness video, captured by a passer-by with their mobile, Con. Abdool is seen grappling with one of the youths as he tries to protect himself from more punches. Brasse then throws a punch which narrowly misses Abdool as he tries to get away. Then another youth marches up to the policeman, slapping him with full force around the head. A few seconds later, a man in a red basketball vest suddenly jumps out from the crowd, putting Abdool in a headlock as a gaggle of shocked people assemble on the zebra crossing, stopping traffic. After a long period of inactivity from observers, a concerned passer-by manages to free Abdool from the fracas; his distinctive reflective uniform brace pulled out of place, the officer appears visibly shaken. Another police officer was also targeted in the melee, although the attack does not appear in the video and the officer in question has not been identified.
The video of the savage assault soon appeared on Facebook, where it went viral among islanders and Mauritians abroad. The island’s police began an investigation into the assault on Abdool. Despite the grainy video quality, the island’s police force was able to recognise the suspects.
A police raid in the area of Cité Roche-Bois on Friday and Saturday saw the Brasse brothers and Samuel arrested at their homes. Darren Brasse was interrogated by a team led by senior police officer Daniel Monvoisin, where he admitted his part in the attack on their colleague, saying that he was annoyed at being told not to cross the street by Abdool. He lost his temper and then struck the policeman, Brasse told officers.
All three are now in police custody, where they will be interviewed in connection with other crimes, Le Defi reports.
HEM News Agency, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-news-agency
Le Défi Media Group, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/defimediagroup
“Agressé à la gare du Nord – Le policier Abdool : « Monn truv zekler »” – Irfaad Olitte, Le Defi Media Group (22 February 2015) http://www.defimedia.info/live-news/item/68342-agresse-a-la-gare-du-nord-le-policier-abdool-monn-truv-zekler.html
Mauricien, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/mauricien1968
“VIDÉO SUR FACEBOOK: Une première arrestation suite à l’agression de deux policiers” – 24 Heures Info (22 February 2015) http://24heuresinfo.com/2015/02/21/video-sur-facebook-une-premiere-arrestation-suite-a-lagression-de-deux-policiers/