Alleged threats to cut off a man’s head with a machette, leads to drug charge
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 32-year-old man from Mesepa arrested for making threatening remarks to his neighbor is now charged with violating local drug laws. Philip Naotala made his initial appearance in court last week.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both; along with trespass and public peace disturbance, both misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
The Tafuna Police Substation (TPC) received a phone call from a young man requesting police assistance after a man came to the family home with a machete and threatened to cut off his brother’s head.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the young man who contacted police for assistance.
According to his statement to police, his family, including his parents his 26-year-old brother and three young siblings were having a good time inside their home last Tuesday night around 7:21p.m when a man walked in front of their house holding a machete in his right hand and shouted out to his brother that if he continued to spread rumors about him (defendant) and his family, he would cut off his head with the machete.
The man was later identified as Philip Naotala, the defendant in this case.
Naotala then left their house without any further statement to his brother.
On Saturday night, Aug. 22nd, 2020, two police units with several police officers inside responded to a public peace disturbance call in Malaeimi after two men assaulted another man during a verbal argument inside an Asian store.
As officers investigated the PPD case, a police sergeant who was with the investigating team saw Naotala inside the store. The police sergeant knew Naotala from another PPD case with which he was also involved in three months ago, but was not arrested.
The police sergeant followed Naotala inside the store and found him standing in the middle of the store. The police sergeant immediately approached Naotala and informed him about the alleged case where he went with a machete to another family and made threatening remarks to the family.
Naotala looked nervous and started to walk away from the officer, however, the officer called for other officers outside the store for assistance and Naotala was placed under police custody and transported to the TPS for further investigation.
Before the defendant was interviewed, a body search was conducted where a glass pipe containing methamphetamine and two hand-rolled marijuana joints were found inside his pants pocket.
After he was informed of his constitutional rights, he said that he understood his rights and refused to make a statement to police.