Man faces charges after taking police on a high-speed chase

Says he was rushing to pick up his son who was involved in a fight
ausage@samoanews.com

Police have arrested and charged the driver of a vehicle who took the cops on a high-speed chase last week on the west side.

Elliott Siaumau Jr., who is not new to the court system, is facing four misdemeanor charges: public peace disturbance, assault in the third degree, resisting arrest, and interfering with prosecution. In addition, he has been slapped with a pair of traffic citations —reckless driving and careless driving.

Last Friday, he made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Pro-Temp, Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde.

During court proceedings, Siaumau Jr.’s attorney, Ryan Nelson asked the court to release his client on his own recognizance, so he can provide for his six children, adding that his client is the only person in the family who works to put food on the table.

Prosecutor Gillian Sandler requested the Court to keep the bond at $500. She said the defendant’s actions were dangerous and it nearly cost the lives of several police officers and members of the public who were on the road that day.

Tauiliili-Langkilde agreed and ordered that the bond remain at $500.

If Siaumau Jr. is able to post bond, the Court has several conditions of release, which include no direct or indirect contact with government witnesses, including police officers, who were allegedly affected by his actions.

According to the government’s summary of facts, there were two incidents simultaneously happening.

One of the two incidents was reported to the Tafuna Sub-Station, when it received a call around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 22nd, after a police officer, who was on the road in the Puapua area, observed a white truck heading west at a high rate of speed near Calvary Chapel.

At the same time, bystanders, at a bus stop on the main road, reported the second incident to the police — it was a group of youth fighting near the intersection to Taputimu — and a dispatcher at the Leone Sub-station called police units and officers for assistance.

In the meantime, the vehicle that was driven by Siamau, Jr. didn't stop when a motorcycle cop signaled for him to stop. Instead, he continued speeding westbound, at that time he was near the campus of Fa’asao Marist HS.

Moments later, another police unit with two female officers spotted the defendant’s vehicle near a gas station in Leone, heading west, and they initiated a vehicle stop but the defendant kept driving.

Then, a police officer from the Leone Sub-station dispatched police officers who were trying to stop the defendant’s vehicle, saying the truck was parked at the Leone Sub-station parking lot, and the defendant allegedly took one of the victims from the fight at the intersection to Taputimu.

According to the government, Siaumau Jr. allegedly snatched one of the victims from the Leone Sub-station before the investigation was complete, and while police were waiting for EMS personnel to arrive.

The defendant got into his vehicle with the victim, whom he told police later was his son, and the two drove off from the Leone Sub-station.

Driving on the stretch of public highway from Leone to Futiga, Siaumau Jr. continued to elude police, refusing the stop or pull over.

According to police officers, Siaumau Jr. allegedly flipped them off and told them to follow his truck.

At one point, the defendant stopped when a police officer, who was waiting on the other side of the road flagged him down, and tried to explain to him the reason why police officers were following his vehicle.

During the short conversation with the police officer on the road, the defendant told him it was his son that was involved in a fight at the bus stop at the intersection to Taputimu, and he had found out through phone calls from his son's friends.

The defendant said that’s why he was speeding carelessly. He said he was worried about his son and he went to the Leone Sub-station to take his boy away from the police.

He also told the officer he would take his son to the hospital, to check on the injuries he sustained from the fight.

The cop told the defendant he needed to take his son back to the Leone Sub-station so police could complete their investigation on what happened. The defendant resisted and refused to take his son back to the Leone Sub-station, after which he took off again, resulting in the officer dispatching the Tafuna Sub-station for backup.

According to the government, about 7 police officers and 5 police units were involved in the chase of the defendant’s vehicle.

Two cops in a police unit observed the defendant’s vehicle heading to Vaitogi at a high rate of speed, swerving to their lane and nearly colliding with them.

The cops say they turned around in pursuit and followed the defendant’s vehicle, but they couldn’t catch up because Siaumau Jr. was doing 60- 70 mph on the Vaitogi public road.

Moments later, police officers observed the defendant’s vehicle in the bushes on the Vaitogi dirt road near the “Fa’atagi le Laumei” area, but there was nobody inside. The vehicle was locked and empty.

Police, however, were able to pick the defendant up from his residence and take him to the Tafuna Sub-station for questioning; his vehicle was impounded as well.

The defendant was allegedly yelling at police officers in English and Samoan.

He shouted profanities and threatened the officers, saying they will see what happens when he comes out. He also told the two female officers, he allegedly flipped off, that he didn't give them the bird finger, and they needed to do their job right.

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