Ads by Google Ads by Google

Man from Samoa warned to obey the law if he wants to come back to territory

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Samoa, who arrived in the territory recently under a 30-day visitor’s permit, and is described by the District Court as a visiting tourist, has been ordered to return to his home country and not to break any local laws, if he wants to visit American Samoa again in the future.

Valoaga Tulaga was convicted and sentenced last week for one count of public peace disturbance (PPD), following an incident where he caused trouble at a store and challenged the Asian store operator to a fight after the operator told Tulaga that local laws prohibit stores from selling alcohol after 10p.m.

According to court information, Tulaga went to the store with some friends and while there, one of Tulaga’s friends told him that he was wrong to challenge the storeowner to a fight after he refused to sell them beer. Tulaga then turned around and challenged his friend to a fight. He also challenged the taxi driver who had taken them to the store.

The incident occurred after Tulaga arrived in American Samoa two weeks earlier from Samoa. He was on island to visit family.

During sentencing, District Court Judge Fiti A. Sunia told the defendant that if he is a visitor to American Samoa, he must respect and follow the laws of the territory.

Sunia told Tulaga he is “very lucky” that his actions didn’t cause any major problems that would've resulted in the court handing down a much harsher sentence.

Meki was sentenced to 6-months probation under several conditions, which include a fine of $100. He is not to violate any local laws and he must return to Samoa as soon as possible.

If Tulaga is granted a 30-day visitor’s permit in the future, Sunia warned him not to commit any crime but to respect the laws of the territory.