A week ago, Nayira Karapetyan came to the Hetq office with her improbable tale. Blind from birth, Nayira lives with her daughter in a Davtashen dormitory.
On October 30, as per normal, Nayira took her daughter to a painting group. This is how she describes what happened that day.
“We took a public minivan to the painting class. It was around 10:30am. I asked the driver if he could stop at the Pushkin-Mashtots intersection. He said, no. There isn’t a stop there. A young girl passenger said she would help me to get to my destination. She added that we knew each other. I didn’t recognize her voice but I thought it just might be possible that I knew her from somewhere. As we were getting off, another passenger asked the girl why were we getting off at this particular stop since it was quite far from where I said I was heading.
When we disembarked from the van, I asked the girl who she was. She replied that she would tell me but first asked where the painting class was being held. I told her on Pushkin Street near the Art Institute. She told me to wait and went to talk to a man who later turned out to be a policeman. I approached and overheard the cop saying ‘we’ll take her to the salt mine.’ I then asked them what salt mine they were referring to. The cop said he only wanted to help. I told him that if he really wanted to help they should hail a taxi for me. I told him that the girl should accompany me because I wanted to know who she was.
The policeman hailed a taxi. After getting in, the cop told the driver to take us to the salt mine. Again, I asked what mine they were talking about. The cop replied that there was an art institute there as well. I told him I wanted to go to the one on Pushkin Street, not the one in Avan. When we got to Pushkin, the driver asked for directions. The girl, who had said her name was Sona, told the driver to head for the salt mine. I tried to open the door and get out but she closed the locks. I hit her and have no regrets for doing so. Later, I expressed the same sentiment to the police. Sona then opened the door. I got out and a woman escorted me to the painting school.
Two individuals approached me on the street. They said they were with the police and told me that I had hit a woman. They said I would have to go with them to the police station. I went with them to the Kentron Station where they kept me waiting for around five hours in the hallway. Everyone was smoking at the station. Then the girl Sona showed up and told the cops she only wanted to assist me. I guess they believed the girl because they didn’t ask me my side of the story. Their attitude was crass and rude. One cop even asked me how I could take care of a child given that I couldn’t see.
The police told me to go home. They told me to immediately show up at the station when they telephoned.
A few days later the cops called Nayira and told her to show up at the Kentron Station accompanied by a friend. Nayira figured the police had gotten to the bottom of the perplexing incident and had found out who Sona, the girl who wanted to take her to the psychiatric ward at the salt mine, really was.
But all the police did was listen to her story once again and record it.
The cops said they couldn’t press any charges against Sona, the girl who had merely wanted to “help”, because she was a minor.