Inmate escapes to go 'clubbing' with girlfriend
An inmate who escaped from the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) and was caught partying with his girlfriend at the Bowling Alley Bar made his initial appearance in court yesterday. The inmate, Joseph Mamona has been charged with escaping from confinement, Public Peace Disturbance and resisting arrest while the girlfriend, who was also arrested, has been charged with aiding and abetting.
Commissioner of Public Safety, William Bill Haleck said the inmate was incarcerated for a stealing crime, "not a violent crime," in response to Samoa News queries.
He further stated the inmate escaped through the roof of his cell and an internal investigation is underway in this incident. The girlfriend, Annastasia Toilolo, also made her initial appearance in court yesterday.
According to court filings, police officers were outside of the Bowling Alley, when they were approached by the Bar’s security informing them an inmate was inside the club.
The security officer further told police they had already contacted the TCF, which confirmed Mamona was an inmate. When police went inside the club, Mamona had already left and police were told he was hiding somewhere in the parking lot. The officers searched the parking lot and found him inside one of the parked vehicles, in the passenger seat.
Court filings say the inmate was then arrested, however he was making "tumultuous" behavior and swearing at the police officers.
The affidavit supports the criminal charges against the girlfriend, Toilolo, saying she gave Mamona’s brother a cell phone and that’s how they were able to communicate.
It's alleged when Mamona climbed the fence surrounding the jail, he was picked up by his girlfriend not far from the jail and they headed straight to the bar.
The Commissioner noted these types of incidents happen “all the time, everywhere…these inmates have an idle mind, they have nothing better to do but to think how they are going to escape.”
Haleck said Mamona was in jail on a stealing case and when he was denied parole after a recent hearing, he resorted to escaping.
He explained the Correction guards had conducted a head count, and soon after the head count Mamona escaped.
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