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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED FOR PUBLIC PEACE DISTURBANCE

Police officer Iapani Jr Tiumalu spent the night in the Tafuna Correctional Facility after he was arrested for public peace disturbance in Fagatogo and Utulei.

The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning before Judge Elvis Patea.

According to the government’s case, at 9:10 p.m. Monday evening, police received a call from the Utulei Mayor, Su’esu’e  Solofa about Officer Tiumalu yelling profanities at Utulei Beach.

Police responded and met with the village mayor, however the defendant had already left the area. According to the police affidavit, witnesses expressed disappointment given that the defendant, Tiumalu is a police officer with the Department of Public Safety, who should be enforcing the law.

Police contacted the defendant’s residence, however the defendant was not at home.

Two hours later police received another call regarding the defendant who was now allegedly swearing in front of the Herb and Sia Motel. The police apprehended the defendant, and he was taken straight to the TCF.

According to  the police affidavit, when the police and defendant arrived at the TCF, the defendant took off on foot and police went after him and again apprehended him in front of the Stevens and Son’s store just down the road from TCF.

The police said the defendant was overly intoxicated and was swearing at them. Bail has been set at $500.

Before he became a police officer, the defendant had a public peace disturbance charge in 2005.

EMANUEL ULBERG IN HIGH COURT FOR ALLEGED BRIBING

Emanuel Ulberg, accused of bribing a police officer with a $100 while he was pulled over for a suspected DUI,  denied the allegations against him when he was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning.

He is charged with bribery of a public servant, driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI); a prohibited place of consumption and careless driving.

Presiding in this matter was Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

The bribery charge is a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail, a fine of $5,000 or both. The DUI is a class A misdemeanor, punishable up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both; Prohibited place of consumption is a class B misdemeanor, carries a jail term of up to six months a fine of $500 or both; and  Careless Driving is a class C misdemeanor punishable up to fifteen days in jail a fine of $300 or both.

According to the government’s case, on April 15, 2012 police officers were patrolling near the stadium, and came across the defendant whose car was swerving.

It’s alleged a traffic stop was made and the investigating officer observed Ulberg with red watery eyes and detected the odor of alcohol on him.

The government claims the defendant admitted he had consumed four cans of beert at Sadie’s by the Sea. Police noted there were open beer bottles in the car.

According to the government’s case, the defendant failed the Standard Field So Sobriety Test, however when the officer attempted to start on the breathalyzer test, the defendant handed the officer $100.

It’s alleged Ulberg told the cop to give him a chance and take him home, however the officer gave the defendant back his money and placed him under arrest.

The defendant’s bail is set at $500, he’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White, while prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley. Pre-trial conference for this matter is scheduled for next month.

ANDREW PETER PLEA HEARING CONTINUED

Andrew Peter, accused of burglarizing a taxi parked in front of a store in Pago Pago, where he allegedly took off with an iPhone, was present in the High Court this week for a change of plea.

Peter is being held on bail of $30,000 as he is charged with burglary, stealing and resisting arrest. The matter was presided over by Chief Justice Michael Kruse.

In the plea agreement read in open court, the defendant was to plead guilty to stealing and resisting arrest while the government moved to dismiss the burglary charge.

The plea hearing proceeded, however when the Chief Justice reached the part where he read the defendant his rights, he summoned the lawyers to the bench and rescheduled the plea hearing for July 20, 2012.

Kruse noted there was something in the plea deal that needed clarification before the court proceeds with the deal.

Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin represents the defendant while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.



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