Man allegedly uses car as battering ram in fit of temper
A man from Faleniu is facing charges of first degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and property damage second degree on allegations the defendant rammed his vehicle into the victim’s vehicle twice, while she and her daughter and granddaughter were in the vehicle.Paea Patu made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday and is being held on $10,000 bail.The assault count is a class D felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of $5,000, or both. Endangering the welfare of a child is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000, or both and property damage a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000, or both.According to the government’s case on Aug. 15, 2012 the West Substation received word about a fight near the Mormon Chapel in Faleniu and requested assistance.Police proceeded to the call where they met with the victim who told police she was sitting in her vehicle when she was approached by the Patu on foot. The defendant was upset with the victim and while Patu was talking to the victim he was pointing his finger at her and yelling.The government claims the defendant was upset because he got into an argument with the victim’s son earlier in the day at the Chapel.The victim told police the defendant blamed the victim for not “doing her responsibility” as the parent with regard to keeping her children in check.The government alleges the defendant tried to punch the victim twice while she was sitting in her car, but he missed. It’s alleged the defendant then got into his vehicle and rammed his vehicle into the victim’s car damaging the right side of the vehicle.The victim told police she was in her vehicle when this happened, along with her daughter and her three-year old grand-daughter. Police interviewed the victim’s daughter who corroborated the same information provided by her mother to police.The government’s case further alleges after the defendant rammed into their vehicle the first time, they were afraid and they drove off to a nearby field to wait for police officers to arrive.It’s alleged after several minutes since the first impact, while they were waiting in their car in the field, the defendant caught up with them and again rammed his car into the victim’s vehicle. This second impact caused damage to the left side of the victim’s vehicle.Police took photographs of the damages which are said to exceed more than $100 worth. According to the government’s case the defendant admitted to police crashing both into the left and right side of the victim’s car.The defendant is scheduled to have his preliminary examination in the District Court later this week. The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.