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Man assaults taxi driver in a store — says the taxi driver owes him money

Territorial Correctional Facility, TCF

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 35-year-old man from Tafuna spent the weekend at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) for allegedly assaulting a taxi driver.

Filemoni Lokeni made his initial appearance in District Court last week, where he entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to third degree assault and PPD.

The government claims that Lokeni allegedly punched a taxi driver in the face, inside a store in Tafuna last Wednesday night, after the taxi driver refused to pay back the money he owed to the defendant.

Lokeni and the victim are from the same village.

Lokeni had gone to the store to buy more beer for himself and his friends; and as he entered the store, he saw the victim - a taxi driver who was about to pay for his shopping.

An eyewitness who was inside the store told police that Lokeni asked the victim why it has taken so long for him to pay back the money owed him. The victim responded that this was not the right place to discuss the matter. After paying for his shopping, the victim grabbed his stuff and started to walk outside.

According to the government, that’s when Lokeni grabbed the victim’s shoulder and allegedly punched him in the face, causing him to fall down.

Police arrived shortly thereafter and transported Lokeni to the DPS Tafuna Substation for questioning. He was then booked and confined at TCF.