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Man arrested after allegedly assaulting victim for using bathroom

American Samoa District Court

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On April 27, 2024, a man contacted Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to report that he was allegedly assaulted by a 68 year-old man.

The defendant was later arrested and charged with one count of Assault in the Third Degree — a class A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000, or both.

The defendant’s bail was set at $1,000.

(Samoa News has withheld names of those involved to protect the identity of the minor involved in this case.)

According to the affidavit, on April 27, 2024, the victim contacted the TPS to report that a 68 year-old man, who was drunk, approached him and forcefully grabbed him by the neck while he was going to use the bathroom behind his house.

Officers responded to the call and upon arrival at the scene, they met with a male individual who was later identified as the victim. The victim briefed the officers about what had happened.

The victim verbally stated that he was going to the bathroom, which is located near the defendant’s residence, when the defendant “suddenly approached and choked him by the neck and tried to hit him with a pipe.”

It was also mentioned that a 17 year-old minor had witnessed what happened.

After interviewing the victim, police officers proceeded to find the defendant at his residence which is located approximately 20 yards away from the victim’s house.

Officers met with the defendant, who was sitting near his house, and asked him about what had occurred and he said nothing.

Police officers then informed the defendant that they would be taking him to the TPS for further investigation.

Officers were also able to interview the 17 year-old minor and she provided a verbal statement regarding the matter and her statement corroborated the victim’s statement.

The affidavit also stated that officers detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from the defendant’s breath while placing him inside the police unit. The defendant was transported to the TPS for further investigation.

Upon arrival at the TPS, the defendant was Mirandized where he understood and agreed to provide a statement and answer questions.

According to the defendant’s verbal statement, he stated “he had issues with the victim many times for not helping with paying the electric bills and that’s why he’s not allowed to use the bathroom anymore.”

The defendant stated that he got mad when the victim disrespected him by asking, “Where do I use the bathroom? Your mouth?” The defendant said he got mad but denied grabbing and choking the victim by the neck.

The defendant was later booked and confined at the Tafuna Correctional Facility to await the next available sitting of the District Court.

The defendant is identified as a 68 year-old citizen of Samoa.