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Land dispute between two Pava’ia’i families escalates into violence

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A land dispute between two families in Pava’ia’i ended when police arrested two people and escorted them to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) on Thursday afternoon, to prevent any further violence.

Aleluia Tuifaiga, 45, and Taupaolo William, 46, made their initial appearances in District Court last Friday. District Court Judge Fiti Sunia later released them on their own recognizance, subject to certain conditions.

They have to keep the peace within their family, make all of their court appearances, and they are not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victims.

Sunia emphasized to both defendants the importance of keeping the peace at all times in their family circle, and both are cautioned not to cause any more trouble.

The government claims that on Dec. 6, the Tafuna Substation received a call from co-defendant Tuifaiga, regarding a public peace disturbance at the Tuifaiga residence in Pava’ia’i.

Several police officers responded and met up with Tuifaiga at the scene, where they interviewed Tuifaiga and other family members who were involved in the alleged incident.

The investigation discloses that Tuifaiga approached Taupolo William’s eldest son to ask that he stop planting his crops on the family land. William’s son returned home and informed his mother about the situation.

That's when co-defendant William allegedly walked over to where Tuifaiga was standing and started a verbal argument with him. William allegedly struck Tuifaiga with a piece of wood that hit Tuifaiga on the shoulder and head.

Tuifaiga wanted to assault William but did not make a move, as she is a woman. Tuifaiga walked over to William’s house and allegedly assaulted her son by punching him in the face.