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Father claims man who hit his son, tried to fight him too

American Samoa District Court

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On April 12, 2024, at about 3:29pm, a distraught father reported that a male individual identified as Ieremia Mapusaga, allegedly slapped his 13-year-old son.

The defendant was charged with one count of Assault in the Third Degree — a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one (1) year, a fine of $1000, or both.

Bail for the defendant is set at $1000.

Police officers arrived at the scene and spoke with the father of the victim. The victim’s father explained that as he was on his way back home, when “Mapusaga approached him and apologized for slapping the victim.”

The victim’s father said that as he was scolding the suspect, when the suspect “started to pick a fight with him”. The victim’s father further stated that “he didn’t want to commit a crime and proceeded back home.” However, as he continued to make his way home, “he heard a loud bang in the back of his car as if it was thrown with an object.”

When interviewed by the officers, the victim stated that the suspect slapped him once. He said that “he was in the middle of a conversation with another kid when all of a sudden Mapusaga interrupted and slapped him.”

According to the affidavit, there were “no visible marks and bruises on the victim’s right side of his facial area.”

The suspect was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and Mirandized upon arrival. He provided a statement in which he admitted to slapping the victim “only once”. The suspect explained that “he was mad that the victim was not paying attention when he was trying to speak with them.”

The suspect then claimed that “he did not throw the car nor tried picking a fight,” even though the victim’s father was upset and angry.

The defendant was booked and confined at the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) to await the next available sitting of the District Court.