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Man desperate to return to Utah attacks local woman

A man accused of punching a woman and knocking her unconscious in an attempt to rob her made his initial appearance in District Court with his bail set at $20,000. Michael Falaniko is facing charges of attempted robbery second degree, assault third degree and resisting arrest.

The robbery count is a felony punishable up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both while the assault and resisting arrest are class A misdemeanors, punishable with up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

According to the government’s case on December 21, 2012 police were contacted for assistance in Nu’uuli, due to a woman who was lying unconscious, allegedly from being assaulted.

Police responded to the call where a witness told the police the woman was exiting her car when Falaniko punched her in the face and knocked her unconscious.

The witness further said that while the woman was lying on the ground, unresponsive, she observed the defendant going through the woman’s pockets.

It’s alleged that Falaniko attempted to grab what appeared to be a deposit bag, however he was unsuccessful because bystanders chased him away.

The witness told police that when Falaniko fled, her sons ran after him in an attempt to locate him.

Court filings state that when the police approached the defendant, they told him several times that he was being placed under arrest and should comply with orders by the police, however, the defendant refused to comply.

It’s alleged that three police officers pushed the defendant towards the police vehicle but because the defendant resisted, he had to be carried into the police vehicle.

Court filings state that the defendant was in the territory visiting from Utah and that he told the police that he had no money, no job and he was desperate to return to Utah.

It’s alleged that the defendant told the police he saw the woman with a deposit bag and that’s why he attacked her. He admitted punching the woman, searching her pockets and attempting to take the bag.

The defendant is scheduled to have his preliminary examination hearing next week.