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Police arrest a man walking in the village with a machete

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 36-year-old man who allegedly was walking around the Pava’ia’i area heading up the hill with a machete has been arrested by police and charged with 3rd degree assault and disturbing the public peace (PPD).

Faamanatu Laloifi made his initial appearance in District Court last Thursday morning where Judge Fiti Sunia ordered that he remain in custody until he completes all of his health evaluation with a physician at the LBJ hospital, after which he will be released on his own recognizance.

Laloifi’s next hearing will be Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.

According to the government’s case, the Tafuna Sub-Station received a call from an unknown person about a male individual walking around the Pava’ia’i area heading up to the hill with a machete. Two police officers responded to the call.

Upon arrival at the defendant’s residence, police officers met with the defendant’s sister, who stated that she and her family don’t feel safe when Faamanatu is around. She told police that Faamanatu was drunk the day before, came home and started yelling profanities in front of their house.

Furthermore, the sister also stated to police that Faamanatu left their home in the morning, and came back to the house in the afternoon with a machete, cutting down trees and other stuff.

While patrolling on the Pava’ia’i road, police officers observed a man with a machete in his hand. Officers immediately stopped their police unit in an effort to confront the male individual. However, upon seeing the police unit, the male individual who was later identified as the defendant placed the machete on the ground and ran to the other side of the road.

A few moments later, he was apprehended and was placed inside the police unit. Police officers detected a strong odor of alcohol on the suspect’s breath. The defendant was warned of his rights and he declined to make a statement. He was then booked and transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await his District Court hearing.