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Assault charge lodged after man attacked with metal pipe

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 37-year-old man from Ottoville accused of using a metal pipe to assault his neighbor has been arrested and charged with second degree assault — a felony, punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both; and two misdemeanor charges — unlawful use of a weapon and public peace disturbance.

The charges against Taulaga Valaau stem from an incident that occurred earlier this month in Ottoville, during which he allegedly used a metal pipe to assault and severely injure another man.

According to the police report, Valaau and the victim had gotten into a disagreement. The victim allegedly attempted to assault Valaau and when he failed to do so, the defendant turned around and assaulted the victim with a metal pipe.

Valaau made his initial appearance in the District Court where he waived his right to a preliminary examination hearing. His first pretrial conference in High Court is scheduled for Jan. 19th, 2022 after he entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him during his arraignment last week.

Valaau’s attorney asked the court for a reduction in bail — from $5,000 to $1,000. The defense attorney told the court that Valaau is a hard working man, and he is the only member of his family who works to provide for his wife and two children. He added that his client is not a flight risk; he has no intention of leaving his family.

The prosecutor opposed the defense’s motion, saying the bail set by the court is the right amount for the offense the defendant is accused of committing.

The defense motion was denied and bail remains at $5,000; and because he is unable to post bond, Valaau remains in custody at the TCF.