Be a loving father for your family, wife pleads as domestic violence erupts
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 45-year-old man was arrested by police last week for allegedly assaulting his wife, after his sister-in-law (his wife’s sister) called 911 for help and told police that her sister (victim) was assaulted by the defendant and she’s hiding inside the room, crying and shaking
Several police officers responded to the call and found the victim, as her sister had reported, lying on the bed shaking and crying — this while her three minor children surrounded her.
Police were unable to locate the suspect at the house when they arrived, however, he was apprehended two weeks ago, May 17th, 2020 at a cousin’s house pursuant to an arrest warrant. This was almost 3 weeks after the alleged incident.
(In the interest of protecting the minor minor children and the victim, Samoa News is withholding the name of all parties involved.)
During his arrest, police found two hand rolled marijuana joints inside the left pocket of his pants. The defendant told police that the two marijuana joints belonged to him and were for personal use.
According to the government’s case, the alleged domestic violence incident was reported to police by the victim’s 17-year-old sister, after she witnessed the defendant assaulting the victim on Apr. 29th, 2020.
The couple lived in a two-story building with their three minor children and the victim’s youngest sister in the Tafuna area. The three minor children are 7, 9 and 13 years old.
Several police officers responded to the call and proceeded to the second floor of the building where the couple’s room was located. Officers met up with the female who reported the incident, and she directed officers straight to the room where the police observed the victim lying on the bed shaking and crying, while her facial area was injured and bleeding.
Police spoke with the victim while awaiting the EMS ambulance to arrive for help.
According to the victim’s written statement to police, she was at home talking to her husband on the day of the alleged incident. Everything was normal during their discussion, where she asked her husband about his alcohol problem and the fact that he (husband) spent a lot of their money to buy alcohol for him and his friends instead of buying food, clothes and other things for their family.
The wife also told her husband that if he stopped drinking and saved some money for their family, maybe their family’s standing would improve from the situation they’re facing now.
The wife further stated to police that her husband worked as a carpenter for over 13 years, and he’s making $280 bi-weekly, which is more than enough to provide for their small family. However, half of her husband’s paycheck went to buy alcohol and she’s also suspicious that her husband is doing drugs.
As they continued their conversation, the wife said her husband (defendant) became angry with her and started yelling at her for no reason. The victim tried to explain to her husband the reason why she wanted to talk to him because she wanted him to change and be a loving father for their family, but the defendant changed his attitude so quickly.
According to the victim’s statement to police, her husband stood up and started slapping her facial area multiple times. He then pulled her hair and punched her in the face causing her to fall down on the floor. Her husband continued to punch her face multiple times causing a swelling and bruises on the right side of her eye. She tried to get away from him, but her husband grabbed her hair and dragged her from the kitchen to the living room and continued with the assault.
The victim stated to police that while she was on the ground, her husband grabbed a piece of wood — about 9-10 inches long and about 1 inch wide — and struck her on the left side of her head causing it to swell and peeling the skin. The defendant continued the assault by reaching out for the broom handle and striking her body several times.
The victim further stated to police that her husband instructed her not to say anything to anyone and for her to shut up and don’t make any noise. If she made any noise or told what happen to anyone, he would finish her off.
The victim stated that she feared for her life as well as for her three children and her youngest sister. During the alleged assault, she said it hurt even more because her three daughters and her sister were watching her suffer from the assault.
Investigators were able to interview the 17-year-old sister and two of the victim’s children, all minors.
According to the sister, who is also the one who reported the matter to police, she was very scared seeing her sister being assaulted by her husband (suspect). It was when she saw the defendant grab the broom’s handle and strike the victim several times that she ran and got the phone and called 911 for help. Afterwards, she contacted her uncle to come immediately.
When investigators interviewed the second witness, the 13-year-old girl told investigators that she remembered hearing her mother crying and calling out for help. She also recalled the time when her father (defendant) instructed her, her other two sisters and her mother’s youngest sister to stay inside the back room.
She told investigators that she heard her father instruct her mother that if she talked to anyone about what happened, he (suspect) would finish her off.
Investigators received additional information regarding the suspect’s attitude towards his wife and children. According to church members, this is not the first time the suspect has done this type of thing to his wife.
The defendant made his initial appearance before Judge Elvis P. Patea. He’s charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, an unclassified felony, punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with one count of 2nd degree assault; one count of felonious restraint; both class D felonies; and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.
Bail is set at $10,000.
If he posts bond, the defendant was ordered to find another place to live and not have any direct or indirect contact with his wife and children until further order of the court.
Preliminary examination (PX) is set for Friday this week, May 29th at 10:30a.m.