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Faifeau charged with 3rd degree assault of a blind child

A faifeau with the Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church was arrested on allegations that he assaulted a child who is physically challenged. Reverend Ioane Tyrell made his initial appearance in the District Court on charges of public peace disturbance and third degree assault. Court filings say that the faifeau noted that the blind victim got what he deserved.


It’s alleged that on January 26, 2015 police received a complaint by the victim’s grandmother requesting assistance. The grandmother told police that she was concerned for her blind grandson, who had been assaulted. Court filings say that the victim came home crying and told her that the defendant slapped him in front of a store across from the Leone High School gymnasium.


The victim stated that he was walking home when a vehicle was speeding by and went over a puddle of water which splashed on him, wetting his clothes, and then he swore at the car.


The victim said the defendant then walked towards him and slapped him and told him not to do that again. A bystander who was at the store corroborated the victim’s story.


The police took photos of the blind child’s face that was swollen with a hand mark. Emergency Medical Services was contacted for assistance and the victim was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released that same day. The victim sustained a headache and dizziness as a result.


Police officers proceeded to the defendant’s residence however he was not there, as he was in church. Court filings say that police contacted the defendant via phone and Tyrell informed them that he would go to the Leone Substation. Police and the victim waited for five hours before Tyrell showed up.


During the police interview, the defendant told the police that he had no remorse for what had happened, and he told the victim’s grandmother that her grandson deserved what he got — but he then apologized if what he did was wrong.


“He has done what he knew would teach the boy a lesson” according to court documents, and the faifeau also told the grandmother that she should not cover for her grandson and she has to teach him a lesson from his mistakes.


The ISDA faifeau was released on his own recognizance, with the conditions that he will not contact the victim directly or indirectly, and remain a law abiding citizen.


His next appearance in the District Court is on February 5, 2015.