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Man accused of assaulting his wife while on the road in their vehicle

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 43-year-man was arrested by police on allegations that he assaulted his wife inside their vehicle.

The man is being charged with public peace disturbance, third degree assault, and driving under the influence of alcohol. He made his initial appearance in court last week where he entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him.

The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson while Assistant Attorney General, Bianca Lherisson is prosecuting.

Anderson asked the court to release his client on his own recognizance, saying he’s a first time offender; he isn't a flight risk; and he is not a danger to society.

Lherisson echoed the defense’s verbal motion for release, but under the condition that he stay away from the victim and her children.

Dist. Court Judge Fiti Sunia then released the defendant, subject to the condition that he not have any direct or indirect contact with his wife and children, and he is to remain alcohol and drug free.

He also has to make all of his court appearances and maintain the peace at his residence. Finally, he is not to be in possession of any weapons including knives and guns, or any other form of deadly weapon that can cause harm to others.

According to the government’s case, the victim contacted police for assistance after her husband allegedly assaulted her inside their vehicle while they were on their way home last week after work.

The husband was suspicious that his wife was having an affair with a male co-worker.

The wife told police that everything was fine when her husband picked her up. She said they were talking and having fun inside the vehicle but she also smelled a strong odor of alcohol in her husband’s breath.

Everything changed rapidly, she said, when her husband asked her about an affair she was having with a man she works with. The woman said she told her husband that she has no idea what he's talking about - she’s isn't having an affair.

It was at that time the defendant allegedly slapped his wife multiple times. The alleged incident occurred while the vehicle was in motion.

The defendant then pulled over in front of a store in Nuuuli and continued to hit his wife with his fists. At some point, the wife was able to open the door, walk into the store, and call for police assistance.

Several police officers arrived moments later.

They spoke to the woman who was still in the store, and the man was taken in for questioning.