UPDATE: DISTRICT COURT CONFINEMENTS
It was a busy Christmas for the Department of Public Safety. Thirty-two people were arrested between Monday morning and Christmas Day. Six were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and the rest were public peace disturbances and underage drinkers. Seven arrested were juveniles.
Among the seven juveniles were three 16-year-olds who broke into the Iakina Academy School Cafeteria, where it is alleged they vandalized the place and took off with food. Two of the three are on probation and they will remain in police custody. Assistant Attorney General Terrie Bullinger said they allegedly burglarized the cafeteria because they were hungry.
She noted that other juveniles were arrested when they are caught drinking together with adults. “The cases today (Wednesday) all involve some adult influence, which is not good,” said Bullinger.
The juveniles are charged with underage drinking and public peace disturbances, however the government is looking into filing additional charges in certain cases. Among the PPD cases, is a man who was caught stuffing three t-shirts inside his pants at Cost-U-Less (CUL). Uatau Falana’i is held in police custody on bail of $300.
He’s charged with misdemeanor stealing, a class A misdemeanor which is punishable up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. According to the government’s case an employee of CUL who wasn’t working was in the store shopping when he saw the defendant put t-shirts inside his pants.
It’s alleged the defendant was then taken into the office where the t-shirts were pulled from his pants and police were contacted for assistance in this matter. Court filings state the defendant told police that he did not put the t-shirts inside his pants, but he tucked them under his arm.
FIGHT IN VAITOGI LANDS FIVE IN JAIL, ONE IN HOSPITAL
Police arrested five people from Vaitogi on Christmas day following a fight. Fa’atiu AmItuana’i, Tala Tuitama, Polagi Vaimoe, Tutuila Alolu, Lester So’oalo and one other suspect, a juvenile, were involved in this case.
The government yesterday during the defendants’ initial appearances in court opted not to file any criminal charges against Amituana’i, however Tuitama was charged with third degree assault and public peace disturbance and is being held on bail of $500.
Vaimoe is charged with third degree assault, public peace disturbance and property damage and is held on $2,000 bail.
Police said, So’oalo is currently admitted into the hospital and is undergoing medical treatment for an injury to his head, sustained from the fight.
According to the government’s case Fa’atiu AmItuana’i and Tala Tuitama were playing billiard pool at the residence of their boss when Polagi Vaimoe, Tutuila Alolu and Lester So’oalo came over.
It’s alleged Vaimoe, Alolua and So’oalo grabbed the cue sticks and started shooting the balls off the pool table and the cover sheet for the pool table was damaged by what the three men were doing. Tuitama told the three to leave the premises.
It’s alleged the three left the house and when they crossed the road, they started yelling profanities at Tuitama and Amituana’i. Court filings state that Amituana’i and Tuitama were surprised when they heard rocks landing on the roof of their home.
Court filings state that Vaimoe threw a rock at Tuitama and missed, however it landed on Amituanai’s head. Tuitama saw that Amituana’i was injured, so he fetched cue sticks and walked over to Vaimoe, Alolua and So’oalo and struck one of them on the head.
It’s alleged that Vaimoe, Alolua and So’oalo fought with Amituana’i and Tuitama, however they later fled. Court filings state Vaimoe, Alolua and So’oalo, were later joined by a juvenile as they stoned the apartments in which Amituana’i and Tuitama reside, damaging windows and injuring the landlord on the leg.
The landlord contacted police for assistance. According to the government’s case, police arrived at the scene and took all five to the police station, where Amituana’i was treated for the injury to his head; Tuitama sustained a bruised leg while So’oalo was admitted to LBJ for surgery due to his injury.
Police are conducting more investigation into this matter to determine if more charges should be filed in this case.
MAN ESCAPES POLICE CUSTODY, APPREHENDED THE SAME DAY
Following Fa’afetai Siaulaiga’s initial appearance in the District Court on Monday, he escaped from police custody. Fa’afetai is charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the murder of Sio Faumui back in 2011 in Malaeimi. He’s the fourth defendant charged in this case after the Attorney General’s office received new information.
Witnesses at the courthouse said that when the inmates were leaving the courthouse heading to their van to be transported back to the Tafuna Correctional Facility, Fa’afetai took off on foot. Fa’afetai was one of two inmates who appeared in court who was not wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Deputy Commissioner Leiseau Laumoli told Samoa News that the inmate escaped from police custody around 2pm and was caught at 9pm. Police said Fa’afetai caught the bus from Fagatogo and police officers went after the aiga bus in which the defendant was riding. It’s alleged that when the bus was pulled over by police in Faganeanea the defendant ran up to the mountains of Faganeanea.
After nightfall, several hours’ later, police were told the defendant caught a ride from Faganeanea heading westbound, and Fa’afetai was apprehended at the police roadblock in Nu’uuli.
Other co-defendants in this case are Ne’emia Poamo, Sefo Siaulaiga and Migo Misa whose cases are pending before the High Court for sentencing. According to the government’s case, new information received by the Attorney General’s office has it that Fa’afetai was also seen at the scene of the crime on the day Sio was brutally beaten to death.
The government claims the two witnesses told police that on June 4, 2011 they were in Malaeimi across the street from where the incident occurred when they both saw the defendant running towards them while wearing a shirt covered with blood, and his hands also had blood on them.
Another defendant in this matter, Poamo, told police that they had both punched Sio Faumui repeatedly while Fa’afetai and Sefo were the ones who struck him with a rock and a beer bottle.