COURT REPORT: Alcohol aggravates village turmoil
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An intoxicated man who was picked up by cops last Friday night, Apr. 24 and charged with public peace disturbance and resisting arrest has been released on his own recognizance, under standard conditions.
Wayne Talitiga made his initial appearance in District Court this week. His next court appearance is May 21st.
According to the government's case, the alleged disturbance occurred in Tafuna. When police arrived, Talitiga allegedly had fled but was being chased by another male on the roadside. Cops pulled up alongside Talitiga who "continued to walk away."
Court documents state that Talitiga raised his hands up and continuously said that what he did was in self-defense. Cops noted that Talitiga had sustained a laceration on his left eyebrow.
A witness told police that Talitiga was drinking with some friends near the scene and when he walked into his uncle's home, he heard his girlfriend "laughing loudly" in the presence of others and this upset Talitiga.
Court documents say Talitiga then yelled profanities and shouted a Samoan war cry inside the house. Talitiga’s uncle and cousin "attempted to calm" him down but Talitiga "became more aggressive," according to the criminal complaint.
He ran out of the house when he heard his uncle calling the police.
According to investigators, Talitiga resisted when handcuffs were being placed on his wrists and he "attempted to flee but was blocked" by two officers.
Talitiga was transported to the hospital via ambulance and treated in the LBJ Emergency Room before he was taken back into custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).
In 2016, Talitiga was sentenced to 12 months probation after he was convicted by the District Court for trespass and 3rd degree assault. Talitiga’s conviction stems from an incident where he went to his neighbor’s home late at night and assaulted another man who stole his uncle’s tool box.
A man who has a pending matter in the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court was arrested over the weekend and charged with criminal contempt.
Salevao Sipili made his initial appearance in District Court last week before Judge Elvis P. Patea
According to the government's case, police got a call for assistance on Friday night, Apr. 24th in Vailoa, reporting that Sipili was drunk and disorderly.
A police dispatcher claimed to have heard "people yelling and shouting profane words and children crying" in the background.
Cops who responded to the call say they heard people screaming from several houses down when they approached the area. A search for the suspect was carried out at his home, which is near the ocean.
An officer shined his flashlight at the shore and spotted Sipili standing at the end, "as if he was getting ready to jump into the ocean," according to court documents.
A police officer called out to Sipili to "come up" but Sipili allegedly called back to the cop, "No, I'm leaving."
Sipili then jumped into the ocean and started swimming. One of the cops was trying to make his way down to the edge of the shore but at the same time, the suspect's children were crying loudly. When Sipili heard this, he yelled back at the cops, telling them he was "coming back."
He then swam back to shore and turned himself in.
Sipili was transported to the DPS Leone Substation for further questioning.
According to a witness who spoke to police, Sipili came home and started screaming at everyone in the house. The witness said it has become a habit for Sipili to come home and shout profanities at everyone.
When a female family member told Sipili to tone it down, Sipili turned around and started a verbal argument with her. Sipili was cussing at her, her kids, and other members of the household. Sipili reeked of alcohol and according to what the witness told police, his behavior is always like this when he comes home intoxicated.