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$100K bail set for man allegedly involved in firearms incident

A $100,00 bail has been set for a man accused of openly firing a shotgun at two men and for assaulting an on-duty Commanding Officer — Captain Lima Togia. The defendant, Lafaele Tauili’ili has been charged with discharging a firearm, resisting arrest, property damage second degree, and assaulting a police officer. 


Police officer Apelahame Kava has been assigned to investigate the case and Tauili’ili of Vailoa made his initial appearance in the District Court on Monday.


 According to the government, it was reported to police the defendant had pointed a firearm towards a young man and then afterwards discharged one shot up in the air.  It is alleged he fired a second shot towards the young man.


Sgt. Abel Penetusi, a Watch Commander with the Leone Substation, was dispatched to said incident. Court filings say Sgt Penetusi was later questioned regarding the incident.


It’s alleged when police questioned the defendant about the complaint that he was the one who discharged a firearm by shooting a rifle gun while a wedding reception was in session, the defendant informed police he didn't have any firearm on him and he discharged a bamboo gun (faga ofe). 


Court filings say police went back to the defendant's home and spoke to defendant's wife regarding a gun, and she “immediately” went back inside their home and retrieved a rifle (12 gauge) and handed it over. 


Police officers spoke to witnesses regarding the incident and it was during that follow up investigation that two witnesses made statements to police “that they were the two that the defendant pointed the gun at, and [the defendant] also threatened them stating that he was going to kill somebody today.”  The two witnesses also retrieved two shell casings they found where the defendant allegedly discharged the firearm. 


Court filings say when the investigating officer Kava and police officer Devon Mata'u arrived at the Leone police station they observed the screen wire to the conference room torn on the ground outside the building with the sliding window open. They quickly ran inside the station and all they could hear was people yelling from inside the conference room. It’s alleged that Mata'u was the first to run to the conference door and as she opened the door, a man “head butted” another officer, Captain Lima Togia. 


The investigating officer, Kava spoke to Togia about the incident and he stated when he (Togia) walked inside the conference room to check on the defendant, the defendant tore the screen wire off one of the windows and tried to jump outside. Court filings say the defendant turned around and broke three rolling chairs by throwing them across the room.


“Captain Togia added that he tried to calm him down because he was too rowdy, demanding a fight, demanding that he wanted to go home.” It is alleged the defendant approached and bumped into Captain Togia, who repeatedly asked the defendant to back off and sit down. “All of a sudden the defendant head butted him on the chin and also tried to throw a punch at the officer,” according to the filings.


It is alleged Captain Togia in self defense threw a counter punch taking he and defendant to the floor as the defendant pulled him to the ground. It’s alleged Officer Mata'u pulled the fallen officer, who struggled to get up, as the undersigned quickly took position over the defendant handcuffing his hands behind his back until he calmed down before sitting him back in his chair. 


“Defendant was intoxicated and uncooperative with questions asked by the undersigned regarding his information, yelling profanities at the undersigned and other police officers inside the station office. EMS unit was also contacted to render aid to the defendant who sustained injuries as a result of the scuffle with Police Captain Togia.”


Samoa News understands Captain Togia suffered a wound to his lip from the incident.