Man allegedly beats his wife, then attacks a police officer in Nuuuli
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — There is no greater disrespect for the law, than when a person attacks a police officer. These were the words of District Court Judge Fiti Sunia, after he denied the motion to reduce bail for Christopher Montbriand, who is charged with public peace disturbance, two counts of third degree assault, and resisting arrest.
Montbriand made his initial appearance in District Court last Firday. His bail remains at $1,000.
The charges against him stem from an incident that occurred in Nuuuli last Thursday. According to the government's case, police were called for assistance by a woman who claimed that Montbriand was beating his wife on the road, next to the movie theater.
The incident is said to have drawn a crowd of people, who watched as police struggled to handcuff a very resistant Montbriand.
The criminal complaint notes that while cops were trying to detain the defendant, he kept yelling, "Read me my rights" as he was being taken down. Samoa News understands that it took several minutes for the cops to handcuff Montbriand, and two sets of cuffs were needed.
Police were caught off guard when one of their own — who was trying to help Montbriand to his feet — was head-butted in the facial area by the defendant. The cop sustained a bloody nose and busted lip as a result.
The criminal complaint notes that Montbriand didn't stop there. He allegedly attempted to head-butt yet another cop, but he wasn't able to connect.
Montbriand continued to resist and shout profanities at the cops.
The criminal complaint described Montbriand as "hostile" and "out of control".
He sustained scratches to his face — from when he was on the ground. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was contacted, and both Montbriand and the cop he assaulted, were transported to the LBJ Medical Center for treatment.
Because Montbriand was "violent", a cop was assigned to ride with him in the ambulance.
Montbriand's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson, made a motion for bail reduction, saying his client is not a flight risk, he works (on a fishing vessel), and has family ties in the territory.
Before denying the defense's motion, Judge Fiti Sunia noted that Montbriand has another matter pending in the Family, Drug, and Alcohol (FDA) court.
"Your client attacked a police officer," Sunia said to Anderson. "There is no greater disrespect of the law than that."
Montbriand was remanded back to custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).
His pretrial conference is set for Feb. 8.