TCF inmate removed to Manu'a for his own safety
A Corrections officer and other Tafuna Correctional Facility inmates are suspects in the alleged assault of a Nu’uuli inmate who has since been taken to Manu’a for safety reasons while an Internal Investigation is underway. Commissioner of Public Safety, William Bill Haleck told Samoa News the inmate was taken to Ta’u, Manu’a on Monday this week, and Commanding Officer, Captain Pierre Clemens is investigating the matter.
The inmate in question had been arrested on allegations that he took money and threatened a homeless man with a knife. He’s charged with a felony count of robbery first degree, two charges of unlawful use of a weapon, also felonies, and third degree assault, a misdemeanor.
Samoa News understands the incident came to light when the inmate was in court for his pre-trial conference last week, and informed his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Joel Shiver, of the allegations.
The inmate suffered abrasions and bruises to his facial area, and when the incident was reported to the police, they acted right away and removed the inmate, according to Haleck.
The inmate was escorted to Manu'a by police officers on the Marine Patrol boat, said the Commissioner, adding that the inmate will probably be returning to Tutuila next week.
Samoa News understands other inmates assaulted the inmate and a corrections officer is also alleged to be involved.
The inmate in question was charged on allegations that he had threatened a homeless man who used his tent as his home. According to the government’s case, on July 21, 2013 the homeless man offered $4 to anyone who would read Bible scriptures with him and the defendant approached and took up the offer, however when the defendant was paid, he got upset and threatened to bash the homeless man’s head with a large rock weighing approximately five pounds.
It’s alleged the defendant threw a rock at the homeless man but missed, then grabbed a bigger rock (approximately 20lbs) and threatened to bash the victim’s face. Court filings say the defendant grabbed the homeless man’s tent and threatened to rip it apart.
“Victim is homeless and relies on his tent for shelter” say court documents.
The last police brutality case in the territory led to the arrest of former Warden Amituanai Mika Kelemete in early 2006. He was taken to Honolulu where he was charged in federal court in connection with the beating of an inmate on TCF grounds. He later pled guilty to conspiring to violate the civil rights of an inmate.
Under the plea agreement with the federal government, Amituana’i admitted that in August 2003, he had ordered two corrections officers to remove an inmate from his cell and bring him to the center of TCF, where the inmate was handcuffed to a pole. At that point, Amituana’i picked up a board and struck the inmate on his head and his back until the board broke.