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Man arrested for allegedly assaulting 14 year-old for talking to his niece


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On April 4, 2024, at about 10:47pm, a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) requesting assistance in Amanave regarding a male individual, who was disturbing the peace.

It was revealed that the suspect was allegedly disturbing the peace by shouting profanities at her 14-year-old son and also caused injuries to her son by throwing a rock at his left knee.

The defendant, identified as Penetekoso Maligi was charged 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 $5000, or both;

Count 2: Assault in the Third Degree — a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of not more than 12 months, a fine of not more than $1000, or both;

Count 3: Public Peace Disturbance — a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than $500, or both, and

Count 4: Endangering the Welfare of a Child — a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one (1) year, a fine of $1000, or both.

Bail for the defendant was set at $8,000.

(Samoa News has withheld the names of those involved to protect the identities of the minors involved.)

Upon arrival at the scene, police officers met with the reporter of the incident. She stated that “her sons (17, 15 and 14 years old) were in front of their (fale Samoa) doing their homework, when all of a sudden, the defendant yelled and called out to her 14-year-old son to come outside.”

It was then that she (reporter) heard her son responding to the defendant about his niece, explaining that “he (victim) never spoke to her ever since she left the store.”

The defendant continued to accuse the victim of lying and refused to listen to the victim’s responses. The defendant began to shout profanities towards the woman’s sons.

As the woman (mother of victims) walked towards the defendant and her sons, she claimed she “saw the defendant punch her son two times in his left eye and ear” and walked away as she approached him.

The woman then explained that “her 17-year-old and 15-year-old sons ran towards the defendant to stop him from what he was doing but the defendant grabbed a stone near his home and threw the stone at them.”

The woman said that when the stone hit her 14-year-old son and injured his left knee, “she grabbed her phone and contacted the police for help.”

The victim (14-year-old), provided a statement to police in which he explained that “he was in front of their fale Samoa working on his homework with his two older siblings, (when) all of a sudden he was called out by the defendant to come outside to talk but as soon as he walked out, the defendant punched him on his left ear.” The victim further stated, “the second punch hit his left eye and he tumbled on his right side and fell to the ground.”

The victim shared that his two older brothers ran towards the defendant to stop him and that was when “the defendant turned around and grabbed a stone and threw it towards them.”

Police officers were able to locate the defendant at his home which was near where the incident occurred. The defendant was placed inside the police vehicle and transported to the TPS for further investigation.

As the defendant was being booked, police officers detected a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the defendant’s breath alongside bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

The defendant was later transported to the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) to await the next sitting of the District Court.

The suspect was identified as a 50-year-old citizen of Samoa.