Courts hear assault cases; move overstayers into immigration custody
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Samoa accused of assaulting his 59-year-old uncle with a shovel, and then damaging the elderly man's vehicle has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Tua Faapoi, 26, was initially charged with second degree assault and first degree property damage - both class D felonies - and third degree assault, a misdemeanor.
Under a plea agreement, Faapoi pled guilty to second degree assault. The remaining charges were dismissed.
Faapoi admits that on Apr. 24, 2018 in Amanave, he assaulted his uncle by striking his head with a shovel multiple times, causing severe injuries to the elderly man's head and facial area.
Faapoi further admits that on the same date, he damaged his uncle’s vehicle by striking the windshield and driver’s door with a machete.
The government is recommending probation for 5 years with the condition that Faapoi depart the territory immediately. Faapoi has been in custody since his arrest last year, unable to post a $10,000 surety bond. He will be sentenced May 30.
MAN ASSAULTS WIFE WITH METAL PIPE
A man charged with third degree assault and public peace disturbance for allegedly striking his wife with a pipe made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning.
District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea released the man on his own recognizance, under standard conditions, to include maintaining the peace at home and not disturbing the physical well being of his spouse and/or their family members.
To protect the identity of the victim, Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant.
According to the government's case, the defendant became angry after his wife asked to get dropped off at work. The man allegedly started yelling at the kids and even "yanked" his 2-year-old son off of the bed, according to the criminal complaint.
The woman told police she wanted her son but her husband refused and kept walking towards the car. When the woman tried to open the car door to get her child, the man allegedly struck her on the back and head with a pipe. The woman tried to get into the vehicle but her husband drove off while she was halfway in the car.
She told police that it wasn't safe so she let go and her husband drove off with their toddler.
Police were alerted to be on the lookout for the vehicle which was later located and impounded. The defendant was subsequently booked and taken into custody at the TCF.
The matter has been transferred to the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court where a pretrial conference is scheduled for Monday, May 13.
OVERSTAYER IS RELEASED TO IMMIGRATION CUSTODY
A man whose Immigration ID expired on Mar. 21, 2019 has been released to the custody of the Immigration Office. The man appeared in District Court this past Monday on charges of private peace disturbance and third degree assault following an alleged physical altercation with his wife.
Presiding District Court Judge Pro Tem Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde released the man on his own recognizance, and he is ordered to find someplace else to live while his case is pending. He is also not to make any direct or indirect contact with his wife.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for May 13 and the case has been transferred to the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court.
According to the government's case, police got a call for assistance last Friday, Apr. 5th in Tafuna from a woman claiming that her friend was being assaulted by the defendant.
Police arrived at the scene and found the defendant sitting next to his wife on the bed. Officers observed bruises on the woman's face. She was later treated by paramedics.
At the Tafuna Substation, the defendant told police that it was a "misunderstanding" between he and his wife "which escalated to a fight." He allegedly told police that he slapped his wife once, causing her to fall to the ground.
He further told police that "this always happens between them" and "they always work things out," according to court documents. The man had injuries on his arms and abdominal area.
When questioned by police, the woman said she and her husband started arguing after he picked her up from work. She said her husband kept driving recklessly and she continuously told him to slow down but he refused. She said when they got home, the argument escalated into a fight and she scratched her husband and punched him several times before he punched her twice, dropping her to the ground.
The woman allegedly told police that this isn't the first time this has happened, but "this is the first time she has called for help."
A pretrial conference is scheduled for May 9th for Aukuso Faumui, who made his initial appearance in District Court this past Monday. He is charged with public peace disturbance.
Judge Pro Tem Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde released Faumui on his own recognizance, with standard conditions.
According to the government's case, police got a call from Satala — near the cannery — last Friday regarding a male who got into a fight with a co-worker. The men work as crewmembers for a team that unloads fish off the boats.
When police arrived, they observed the caller pulling Faumui away from the main road, on the westbound lane. When an officer tried to apprehend Faumui, the defendant allegedly resisted and started cussing out loud.
When officers tried to handcuff Faumui, the defendant "did not cooperate, and continued to yell profanities, swearing to the officer," according to the court affidavit.
Police say a strong odor of alcohol was emitting from Faumui's breath when they were speaking to him.
According to a witness, Faumui had punched his co-worker. The witness is Faumui's aunty and she allegedly told police that she wanted Faumui locked up.