Domestic abuse case comes to light after man involved in PPD was arrested
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 30-year-old man from Ottoville is now in custody on the allegation that he forcibly pulled his girlfriend inside a vehicle and assaulted her, on Oct. 23, 2020. It was during his arrest that police discovered illegal drugs in his possession.
Taumafai Uale, the defendant in this case, was arrested when he became involved in a Public Peace Disturbance (PPD) last month in Tafuna.
Uale made his initial appearance in court last month. He is being charged in two separate cases.
In the first case, Uale is charged with one count of felonious restraint involving domestic violence and one count of attempted kidnapping involving domestic violence, both class C felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to seven years, a fine of $5,000 but not less than $150 pursuant to A.S.C.A 47.0402, or both; and two class A misdemeanor charges of 3rd degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Bail in this case is set at $20,000.
In the second case, Uale is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies which carry on imprisonment sentence between 5 to 10 years, a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, or both; along with one count of public peace disturbance, a misdemeanor.
Bail in this case is also set at $20,000.
If he posts bond, the court orders Uale to stay away from the victim and not attempt to contact her or her family in any way; and even if he encounters her in public, he is to walk away from her peacefully. The court also ordered Uale not to set foot on the victim’s family compound at anytime.
On the morning of Oct. 23, 2020, a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and requested police assistance, regarding a young male who came uninvited onto their family land and allegedly assaulted her 23-year-old niece by dragging her into a pickup in an attempt to kidnap her.
Fortunately, the victim’s female cousin intervened and managed to free the victim from the young man. The victim was then escorted to her home and cops were immediately alerted regarding the alleged incident.
The male was later identified as Taumafai Uale, the defendant in this case, while the female was later identified as the 23-year-old victim in this case.
During the course of the investigation, officers were told that the defendant and the victim had been in a relationship for over 5 years. However, the victim moved out of Uale’s house two years ago to stay with her aunt in the Tafuna area.
After the call, the victim and aunt went the TPS to file a complaint against Uale, rather than await the arrival of police.
At the TPS, the aunt told investigators that after the victim was freed from Uale, she saw him take off running and was picked up by a black SUV that drove off at a high rate of speed.
The victim described the alleged incident that happened in front of the gate of her aunt’s house, where she walked over to when Uale called out to her. She stated that she didn’t want to go, but out of respect and the fact that she didn’t want a disturbance, she complied.
She told police that Uale approached her angrily and asked about her whereabouts the previous night. Raising his voice, he took her cellphone and allegedly pushed her against the fence. The victim told Uale to stop but he allegedly dragged her to the other side of the road and inside a pick-up that was driven by his friend.
According to the government, Uale allegedly forced her into the vehicle by carrying her and then throwing her inside it. When the victim was inside the vehicle, Uale allegedly assaulted her by choking her neck, shaking her and grabbing the front of her shirt and forcefully holding her down inside the car. She said Uale rested for a moment before continuing to repeatedly punch her in the face.
She said that while Uale was allegedly assaulting her, she saw her female cousin along with another male individual she had never met run towards the car and open the left side door to pull her out of the vehicle.
Out of fear that the male individual might hurt him, Uale released the victim and yelled out to the driver to take off.
The victim was escorted to the house by her cousin and immediately notified her aunt about what allegedly happened.
Police interviewed the victim’s cousin and her male friend as witnesses to the alleged incident. The cousin confirmed the victim’s account of the incident, including the role she played rescuing the victim by stoning the vehicle with her friend and helping the victim get out of the vehicle.
The cousin told police this is not the first time Uale has forced the victim to go with him. She said whenever the victim tried to break up with him (Uale), he would beat her up and she would come home with bruises.
After interviewing the victim, several police officers headed to the defendant’s home in Ottoville in an effort to locate him, however, his brother-in-law informed police that Uale just called that he was spending the whole week with his girlfriend (victim) at her house. Uale was nowhere to be found.
However, last month, police arrested two men for PPD in the Nu’uuli area and one of them was Uale. While Uale was interviewed by police about the alleged PPD, his name appeared in the system for an active arrest warrant from the alleged domestic violence incident last year.
He was apprehended and transported to the TPS for further investigation. Before he was taken into the police unit, police conducted a body search on Uale and discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance, and a small stamp-sized baggie containing a green leafy substance.
The white crystalline substance tested positive for meth, while the green leafy substance tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
After being Mirandized, Uale agreed to speak to investigators about the alleged domestic incident from last year. He denied assaulting or dragging the alleged victim into a vehicle, and said he only spoke to her about their relationship. He told police that he loves his girlfriend and would never harm her, however, it was her family who made up false rumors against him about their relationship.