Man allegedly beats up his son — and the neighbor who reported it to police
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A father of three accused of abusing his young child before he turned around and allegedly assaulted a neighbor who reported the child abuse incident to police is now in custody after he was arrested last month.
During his arrest, police discovered illegal drugs in the defendant’s possession.
According to the government’s case, the child abuse incident allegedly happened on May 9, 2019 while the assault on the man who reported the alleged abuse happened on May 12, 2019.
(Samoa News has chosen to not identify any of the individuals involved in the incident in order to protect the privacy of the victims.)
The defendant was served with a copy of the arrest warrant when he turned up recently at the District Court on a personal matter and was immediately brought into the court room for a speedy hearing. His case was then continued until the next morning.
The next morning, the defendant made his initial appearance where the government’s attorney informed the court that they filed three separate cases against the defendant.
In the first case, the father is charged with one count of child abuse and one count of 2nd degree assault, both class D felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both; along with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
in the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of 2nd degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both; along with one count of trespass, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
In the third case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment terms from 5-10 years, a $20,000 fine or both.
Bail is set at $30,000.
CHILD ABUSE CASE
On May 09th, 2019, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a 61-year-old man asking for assistance regarding an 11-year-old being assaulted and abused by his biological father.
Several police officers responded to the call and interviewed the man who reported the case, before they went to interview the father of the11-year-old.
The man told police that the 11-year-old boy and his family lived next to his house. On the day in question he heard the young boy screaming for help while his father (defendant) was beating him up.
Later on that day, the man saw scratches and swellings on the young boy’s body while the boy was playing with his grandchildren in front of his house. He immediately contacted police to report the incident because this is not the first time he witnessed bruises on this young boy’s body.
Police picked up the victim’s father (defendant) for questioning regarding the incident. During the interview, investigators informed the father that he was not under arrest and he could leave at any time he wanted.
The father admitted to investigators that he beat his son badly because he was very upset with him for disobeying his instructions. He had instructed his son (victim) to stay at the house with his 10-year-old brother while he and his 4-year-old son went to pick up his pay check from his employer.
However, when he returned home, his son (victim) was at their neighbor’s house playing with his friends while his younger son was watching TV alone inside the house. That’s when the defendant beat up his son using a belt causing bruises all over his body including his back and hands.
ASSAULT CASE AGAINST THE 61-YEAR-OLD MAN
The government claims that on May 11, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a man in Petesa asking for police assistance after he was allegedly assaulted by a man who lived next to his house. The man who allegedly assaulted the neighbor was later identified as the father of the younger victim.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the neighbor at his house. Officers witnessed him sitting inside his house crying while he was surrounded by his three young grandchildren.
Officers also observed that the man’s face was swollen and had scratches. Blood was also seen coming from the victim’s nose and above his left eye from a 3 inch cut.
The victim told officers that he was assaulted by the defendant. Officers tried to locate the defendant on that day but were unsuccessful.
According to the victim’s statement to officers, he was working on his banana plantation at the back of his house and was alarmed when the suspect walked over to him and immediately assaulted him by punching him in the left eye and then pushed him down to the ground.
As the victim was trying his best to push the defendant away from him, the defendant grabbed the victim’s head and smashed it against a tree multiple times before he choked his neck, at the same he was asking him why he reported the incident about his son to the police.
The government stated that while the defendant was assaulting the victim, the victim was calling out for help and begged the defendant to forgive him for what he had done. The defendant told the victim, “You see what I’m going to do to you.”
Around 6 p.m on the same date, May 11th, 2019, police visited the defendant’s house again and found him home, drinking beer with another man. The defendant was apprehended and transported to the TPS for questioning.
Before he was transported to the TPS, the defendant was patted down and during the body search, police discovered a black pouch inside his right pocket. Inside the black pouch, police discovered two small baggies containing white crystalline substance, and another small baggie containing green leafy substance.
After police Mirandized him, the defendant told investigators that he understood his rights and was willing to make a statement about what happened.
When asked about the illegal drugs allegedly found in his possession, the defendant admitted that the drugs belonged to him. He said he bought the drugs from a man who walks about the village selling illegal drugs.
When asked about the alleged beating of an old man, the defendant admitted that he assaulted the man out of anger after he reported to police that he had assaulted his son. The defendant told police that he did not appreciate the victim’s action and it’s none of his business to put his nose into his family affairs.