Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Alcohol continues to be a contributing factor to many of the new cases involving public peace disturbance that come before the District Court for initial appearances.
And during Tuesday’s court proceedings before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia four new cases involving alcohol were heard including the case of a man who allegedly went to his neighbors’ home with a machete, while intoxicated.
The government has charged Vincent Aukusitino with one count each of trespassing and public peace disturbance — both misdemeanor charges. During Monday’s court proceedings, Judge Sunia denied a defense motion to release the defendant on his own recognizance and kept bail at $500. No confirmation yesterday if the defendant has been able to post bail.
Court information states that police responded to a call last Saturday at a family gathering in Leone where the defendant allegedly caused trouble and was yelling profanities. The defendant’s father, who was at the gathering, tried to take his son home but the defendant continued shouting profanities.
The defendant again returned to the gathering calling out for a fight; and this time, the defendant was holding a machete in his hand. Male family members at the gathering chased the defendant to his home, where police later apprehended him.
Upon apprehending the defendant, police say Aukusitino “reeked of alcohol” and also admitted to them that he had been consuming alcohol, according to court information.
COMMON-LAW WIFE ASSAULT
In this case, the defendant is charged with one count each of third degree assault and public peace disturbance — both misdemeanors — for allegedly assaulting his common-law wife at Utulei Beach last Saturday.
To protect the victim, Samoa News does not identify the defendant by name. The defendant was released on his own recognizance, but the court has ordered that he has no contact with the victim and he must find a place to stay while his case is pending in court.
Court information states that when police arrived at the scene the defendant rushed to the officers saying that “his wife was having an affair” with a co-worker. Court information revealed that the victim and defendant are not married, but have been living together for six years and have two children.
The alleged assault resulted in the victim suffering a cut above her left eye and she was taken by EMS to LBJ Medical Center for medical attention. The victim told police that the defendant punched her in the left eye with a closed fist, while the defendant told police that he slapped the victim with an open hand. However, the victim was wearing sunglasses and it caused the cut above the victim’s left eye, according to the defendant’s statement to police. Further, the defendant told police that he was suspicious of the victim “cheating on him” and that made him slap her.
The government charged Alefosio Fetuao with public peace disturbance, and Judge Sunia says the defendant needs to find a way to address his problem with alcohol abuse.
During arguments regarding the defendant’s bail the judge pointed out that it’s clear from court records that Fetuao has appeared in court since 2001 on cases resulting from alcohol use.
Fetuao was taken into police custody last Saturday afternoon after family members contacted police for help to keep peace and harmony because the defendant was intoxicated, causing trouble and swearing at neighbors and others.
A neighbor told police that he got into an argument with the defendant, “who was drunk” and started swearing profanely, according to court information which also says that the defendant claimed that the neighbor “is stupid”. Additionally, the defendant allegedly claimed that he is not afraid of anyone and is also not afraid to beat up anyone.
As the defendant was transported to the main Fagatogo police station, police detected a “strong odor of alcoholic beverage emitting” from Fetuao’s breath and clothes. Additionally, the defendant was helped into the police station because he could barely stand up, let alone walk.
During the booking process, the defendant responded with “a slurred speech” and sometimes struggled to answer questions. The defendant was released on his own recognizance.
Jason Satini was taken into police custody last Saturday evening from the Ili’ili Golf Course area and was charged with misdemeanor public peace disturbance. Witnesses report Satini and another man — who police couldn’t locate — were swearing and causing trouble in the area.
Court information says that police noticed a “strong odor of alcohol” emitting from Satini’s breathe” and his speech was slurred and eyes were bloodshot. The defendant was released on his own recognizance.