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Machete attack: 42-year old man charged with assault

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 42-year-old man from Tafuna accused of using a machete to assault another man has been arrested and charged with second degree assault, a felony, punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of not more than $5,000 of both; and two misdemeanor charges of unlawful use of a weapon and public peace disturbance.

The charges against Rameo Valoaga stem from an incident that occurred last week in Tafuna, during which he allegedly used a machete to assault and severely injure another man.

According to the police report, Valoaga and the victim had gotten into a disagreement. The victim allegedly assaulted Valoaga by throwing multiple punches to his face, causing Valosaga to fall to the ground. Valoaga stood up, grabbed a machete which was behind him and assaulted the victim with it, causing severe injuries to the victim’s hands and back.

Valoaga made his initial appearance in the District Court this week, where he waived his right to a preliminary examination hearing.

His next court appearance is tomorrow at 9:00 a.m in the High Court, where he is expected to enter a not guilty plea to the charges.

Valosaga’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender, Anna Wells, asked the court for a reduction in bail from $5,000 to $1,000. Wells told the court that Valoaga is a hard working man, and he is the only member of his family who works to provide for his wife and two children. Wells said her client is not a flight risk; he has no intention of leaving his family.

Prosecutor Jason Mitchell opposed the defense’s motion, saying the bail set by the court is the right amount for the offense the defendant is accused of committing.

The defense motion was denied and bail remains at $5,000; and because he is unable to post bond, Valoaga remains in custody at the TCF.