Inmate charged in jailhouse stabbing to appear in District Court today
Inmate Ryan Pite will make his initial appearance in the District Court today following the stabbing incident that occurred inside the Tafuna Correctional Facility on Jan. 16, 2013. Pite is accused of stabbing another inmate with a metal object, following an argument between the two.
Pite is charged with first degree assault, a class A felony punishable by death, life imprisonment or minimum of ten years incarceration.
According to the government’s case, the stabbing incident was reported to the Substation and Police Officer Mary Penetusi was assigned to investigate this matter.
A TCF Officer informed the investigating officer that when he was on his way to deliver medication for an inmate, he heard the yelling of profanities and subsequently heard a call for help coming from the Bravo Unit.
The TCF Officer then ran to the main office to retrieve the keys for the Bravo Unit and immediately returned with Lt. Sami Tamau to find out what was going on.
It’s alleged both officers arrived at the Bravo Unit and saw the wounded inmate on the floor, holding his lower abdominal area, which was covered in blood, while another inmate was holding back Pite.
The officers then proceeded to remove the wounded inmate from the Bravo Unit. One officer asked the inmate who was holding back Pite as to what happened and the officers were told that Pite had stabbed him.
The TCF officer said he observed approximately five puncture wounds on the right side of the victim’s stomach. Lt. Tamau asked the other inmate who was present to retrieve the metal object used in the stabbing.
Court filings say the wounded inmate was taken to the LBJ hospital where he was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit for three days. The victim sustained four puncture wounds approximately 5 centimeters deep to the lower abdomen area as a result of the stabbing.
The government claims that police interviewed the inmate who was present during the incident. He told police that Pite was arguing with the victim and he told them to stop arguing. It’s alleged the victim said insulting words about Pite’s mother, then Pite slapped the victim.
The inmate who was present intervened and broke up the fight and dragged Pite to the shower area. Court filings say that moments later Pite lunged at the victim with a metal stick and stabbed the victim five times as the victim was calling out for help.
Commissioner of Public Safety William Haleck said the object used was a sharp metal object which had been created by the inmate from bits and pieces of what he could find inside his cell. It was not something that was brought into the jail from outside, rather it was a man-made object, the Commissioner noted.
The inmates involved in this incident are housed together and they are co-defendants in several burglary cases for which they are currently serving time.