Court Report

Translated by Samoa News staff

MOI KERESETA —

A 58-year-old man from Faleniu, accused by the government of breaking the glass door of a store, after the storeowner refused to sell him beer because he was already intoxicated, was among the 14 people taken into police custody over the weekend.

Moi Kereseta, aka Mr. Saleka, is charged with two counts of public peace disturbance and third degree property damage — both misdemeanor charges. He appeared Monday before District Court Judge ProTemp Gwen Tauilili-Langkilde for his initial appearance and was later released, to await another court hearing set for next month.

It was around 9:35p.m. last Friday that police received a call for assistance “regarding a drunken old man” identified as “Mr. Saleka” of Faleniu.

The defendant, according to court information, was allegedly making unreasonable remarks and yelling profanity towards the storeowner. He also damaged the glass door at the store entrance.

The storeowner told police that the defendant was intoxicated when he entered the store. Although the defendant continuously bothered the storeowner, she didn’t pay him any attention or give him any alcohol despite his demands. This led to Saleka allegedly breaking the glass door at the store's main entrance, still demanding alcohol.

It was a store employee who showed investigators where the defendant lives, which is a house near the store. Both the store owner and the employee know the defendant.

When police went to find the defendant, unknown male individuals directed them towards a bushy area near his house, where the defendant was allegedly hiding. Once apprehended, court information says police officers detected a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath.

Upon arrival at the police station, the defendant “was extremely intoxicated and troublesome,” according to court information, which noted that the suspect was “uncooperative and demanded” police to take him back home, and not to prison.

ANOTHER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE IN COURT

A 52-year-old man, who allegedly threatened to shoot his wife, was arrested last Saturday afternoon and made his initial appearance Monday morning before District Court Judge ProTemp Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde, who set bail at $300.

It’s unclear, as of yesterday, if the defendant has posted bail. If he is able to do so, the defendant — who is charged with one count of private peace disturbance by threatening to harm another person — has been ordered to find another place to live, while his case is pending in court. The defendant is prohibited from making any direct or indirect contact with his wife, or any attempts to threaten her safety.

Samoa News is withholding the defendant's name, in order to protect his wife, the victim in this case.

According to court information, it was around 5 p.m. last Saturday that police received a request for assistance, with the wife telling police that her husband had allegedly threatened to shoot her when he gets home.

Afraid for her life, the victim ran away from home and sought refuge in a church, where police found her.

Investigators who approached the victim said she “was in a state of severe fear and paranoia," and she claimed that her “husband was after her.”

Police were able to locate the suspect not far from the church.

The husband told police the wife didn't need to call them and "he did not do anything wrong,” according to court information.

When told to go to the police station, the suspect didn’t cooperate and stated that he needed to see his wife and police officers "don’t have to be involved in their business.”

The suspect was then apprehended and en route to the police station, he allegedly told officers that it’s possible “his wife ran away and hid because he told her that he heard rumors about her having [an] affair” with an unnamed man, according to court information.

At the police station, the victim allegedly told police that she wanted to pursue the complaint against her husband. She also told police that she would “feel unsecured” if the suspect was released to go home. The husband requested a chance to talk to his wife, who replied by saying “no more”.

According to police, the victim had gotten off from work and just arrived home when she asked her children where her husband was, and the children explained that their father left in the morning and hadn’t returned home since.

The victim then called her husband and asked where he was, which angered him and resulted in his alleged threat to shoot the victim, who told her children she was leaving the house and then ran away and called police for help.

 The victim allegedly told police that this is not the first time this has happened, as it has “occurred several times,” and she is aware that the husband stores a gun in the house. According to police, there was no alcohol involved.

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