13 arrested in Sekere New Year’s Day roadblock assault against Police Commissioner, family and friends
- Category: News
- Published: Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:59
- Written by Bill Jaynes
- Hits: 511
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
January 11, 2018
Pohnpei—In the pre-dawn hours of the first day of 2018, Pohnpei’s Police Commissioner Jordan Ardos and family members and friends were driving home to Kitti from their New Year’s Eve celebrations when they were set upon by a band of 13 intoxicated individuals who had blocked the road at the bridge by Sekere Elementary School. According to a family member, there were four adults and two young boys aged four and seven in the flatbed truck they were traveling in.
Members of the gang stabbed Ardos several times in the back. He was also beaten with a concrete block and rocks wielded by the drunken and violent hoard. He was admitted to the hospital for his injuries. Mary Kerman and Alpino Kerman Junior also suffered lacerations, bruises and scratches but were treated and released.
Police arrested and detained 13 individuals in connection with the brutal attack. They were Lloyd Zarred, Marvin Loyola, Martin Loyola, Lorna Zarred, Ashly Zarred, Bronson Syne, Heinrick Zarred, Darcy Rapai, Kennsner Nennis, Kesuhs Sercy, Pelson Syne, Daisy Elpet and Nelly Liwy.
Each of the defendants have been charged with seven separate criminal charges: Criminal Conspiracy, Felonious Assault and Battery, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault and Battery, Disorderly Conduct, Appearance in Public While Under the Influence of Alcohol, and Disturbance of the Peace.
The defendants were jailed pending arraignment and a bail hearing. Initially the presiding Justice denied bail saying that her principal concern was to keep peace and harmony in the Sekere area.
The next day Senator Rensper Liwy delivered a signed and sworn affidavit. The affidavit said he “personally along with family members of the defendants approached the victims and their family which included Senator Alpino Kermin at the Pohnpei State Hospital on January 2, 2018 where we presented our traditional apology.” He swore that “Senator Alpino Kermin and the victims including the victims family accepted our apology.”
He said in his affidavit that he personally visited the defendants at Pohnpei State jail and informed them that a meeting would be held at Sekere Village involving the Governor, Sokehs Municipal Government, the Chief of Police, the traditional leaders, the youth association and family of the victims. He said that he informed them that if they were released on bail the defendants would also need to attend the meeting to discuss what happened and ensure that there will be no more problems while the case is ongoing.
He vowed to personally ensure that the defendants would keep the peace and attend court on each occasion until the case is disposed of.
Apparently the affidavit was sufficient to convince the presiding Justice that peace and harmony would be preserved in the Sekere community and so reversed her earlier decision. She released all 13 defendants on their own recognizance.
The community meeting in Sekere did take place but the Attorney General advised the Governor that it would be inappropriate for State representatives to attend a meeting with defendants of a criminal action. Governor Peterson instead sent a representative from the Department of Social Affairs.
According to several Facebook posts from community members, the meeting went a long way toward reconciliation, at least among community members. But an immediate family member of the victims said today that no traditional apology had been made or accepted by her family. That matter is currently under investigation.