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Man allegedly assaulted after exiting pool hall for a smoke

American Samoa District Court
reporters@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On April 13, 2024, a man walked into Tafuna Police Substation to report that three men allegedly assaulted his nephew.

Suspects were apprehended but only one of the suspects was arrested and later charged.

According to the affidavit, on April 13, at around 2:22 p.m, a man walked into TPS to file a complaint regarding his nephew who was assaulted by three men in the village of Leone. Police officers were briefed by the victim’s uncle on what had happened.

According to the victim's uncle's verbal statement, he got a phone call from one of his cousins that his nephew is at the hospital, and he (uncle) rushed to the hospital.

The doctor who treated his nephew told him that the person who reported the incident said his nephew fell and hit his head on the side of the stairs injuring both sides of his head. However, the uncle stated to police he knew his nephew did not fall due to the wounds on his head, back, and his facial area.

The nephew later briefed the uncle about the incident after being treated at the hospital.

According to the victim’s verbal statement, they were playing pool with a group of men and he came outside to smoke a cigarette. When he got outside, someone punched him and he fell unconscious to the ground not knowing what happened after.

The victim explained that a group of men that were with him at the time were Wales, Sio, and Poasa.

Police officers proceeded to the scene to locate the suspects and upon arrival observed the group of men mentioned by the victim present. The three male individuals were apprehended and transported to TPS for further investigation.

Police officers Mirandized the first male individual (later identified to be witness #1) and he agreed to give a statement. According to witness #1, they were outside smoking, and the victim said something to Wales (suspect) that got him angry.

As a result, the suspect punched the victim in the facial area which caused the victim to fall on the ground and hit his head on the concrete stairs. The suspect then grabbed a stool chair and hit the victim’s back and grabbed the victim and punched him again, which caused him (victim) to fall to the ground again and hit the other side of his head.

Witness #1 also stated that when the victim fell to the ground the second time he ran for help.

The second witness that was also on the scene was willing to answer questions about the incident. According to witness #2, it was Wales who punched the victim causing him to fall on the ground and hit his head on the concrete stairs. He also confirmed that the suspect used a stool chair to hit the victim while unconscious.

Wales Fa’aiviivi was Mirandized, and refused to provide a statement regarding the incident. The suspect was then booked and transported to the Tafuna Correctional Facility to be confined for 48 hours.

He has been charged with with the following:

Count 1: Assault in the Second Degree — a class D felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both; and,

Count 2: Public Peace Disturbance — a class B misdemeanor by imprisonment of not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

The defendant’s bail was set at $5,000.

The defendant is identified as a 29 year-old citizen of Samoa.

According to the affidavit, the victim was observed to have suffered lacerations on both sides of his head.