Body search after assault at drinking session comes up with meth
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of assaulting another man during a drinking session last week is now in custody after police allegedly found two small baggies containing illegal drugs and a glass pipe — also containing drugs — in his possession.
Chris Nikolao made his initial appearance in District Court last week. He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony; and three misdemeanors: third degree assault; trespass; and disturbing the public peace.
Bail is set at $5,000.
Preliminary examination is Friday this week, Nov. 6th, 2020 at 1p.m.
On the night of Oct 25th, police were contacted by a businessman in Malaeimi, reporting that one of his employees was being assaulted by a drunken man engaged in a drinking session with two others in front of his store.
When police arrived at the scene, a black truck parked in front of the store sped off. Police were told by the business owner that the driver was the one who assaulted his employee.
The prosecution claims that earlier that evening, the black truck had pulled up in front of the store and three men were inside. The trio parked and started drinking in the back of the truck.
They were identified as: the defendant, Chris Nikolao, 45, and his two friends.
Two hours after the drinking session began, the trio started making loud noises and Nikolao allegedly threw an empty beer bottle in the parking lot. A Samoan store employee came out and told the three men to leave the premises because they were not allowed to drink there.
A few moments later, Nikolao entered the store to buy more beer. On his way in, he saw the Samoan employee who instructed them to leave. The man was cleaning the floor.
Instead of buying beer, Nikolao walked over to the employee and allegedly punched him twice in the face, causing the man to fall down. Another employee jumped in to assist his co-worker. Nikolao ran out, jumped into his vehicle with his two friends, and fled the scene before police arrived.
When questioned, the victim told police he was surprised when a huge man walked over to him and started throwing hard punches at his face. He said he didn’t remember how many blows he took because he was trying to cover his face after the first punch landed on his jaw, causing him to fall down, while the man continued to assault him.
Nikolao was apprehended by police at a restaurant in the Tafuna area, and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation for questioning.
A body search netted two small baggies containing a white crystalline substance in his left pocket, and two glass pipes containing what later tested positive as meth in his right pants pocket.
When asked about the drugs and pipes, Nikolao told police he found them in front of the Malaeimi store during their drinking session. He later admitted that he assaulted a man at the same Malaeimi store by punching and kicking his facial area and his back, because the man yelled profanities at him and his friends.