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Intoxicated man beats up a family ‘tautua’ for not doing what he wanted him to do

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 35-year-old man who is on probation for 24 months was arrested last week on the allegation that he assaulted his neighbor while intoxicated.

Aloese Apelu made his initial appearance last Friday before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea. He is charged with third degree assault, trespassing, resisting arrest, and public peace disturbance — all misdemeanors.

Apelu is represented by Assistant Public Defender, Anna Whiles, while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General, Jason Mitchell.

Patea has established bond at $1,000. If he posts bond, Paelu is to remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and he has to surrender his travel documents to the government’s attorney. He is also ordered not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses.

Apelu is accused of unlawfully walking on to his neighbor’s land and allegedly assaulting the victim by punching him in the face multiple times while he was intoxicated. The victim’s wife told police that this was not the first time Apelu has done this to her husband.

According to the wife, Apelu became upset when her husband did not do what the defendant wanted him to do. The victim and his family are living on land belonging to Apelu and his family.

Apelu prohibited the victim and his family from cultivating one area of the land; however, Apelu’s elder brother who left the island while Apelu was in prison around June, instructed the victim’s family to use the land for their plantation.

Last week while Apelu was drinking beer behind his house, he allegedly saw the victim working on the land. He waited until the victim went to his house before he walked over, forcibly entered the home, and allegedly assaulted him.

In February of this year, Apelu was convicted of third degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child, both class A misdemeanors. He was placed on probation for 24 months subject to conditions.

He was to remain alcohol and drug free, and he was ordered to attend and complete an alcohol counseling program. He was also ordered to be law abiding and keep the peace with his neighbor. At the time, the court ordered Apelu to serve 120 days and pay a $100 fine.

Apelu is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 8th for his pretrial conference.