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Man arrested for burning his girlfriend’s clothes — despite telling cops, the matter was 'handled'

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The case of a man accused of burning his girlfriend’s clothes is now transferred to the FDA court (Family, Drugs and Alcohol). According to the government’s case, they have three young children and they have lived together for 14 years now but are not legally married.

The defendant made his initial appearance in court last week. The defendant is charged with private peace disturbance (PPD), a class B misdemeanor.

According to Immigration, the defendant’s immigration identification (ID) expired in May 2015.

When asked why he had not renewed his Immigration ID in the last 5 years, the defendant said that he’s already registered with the Governor’s new Amnesty Program from last year and he has paid his bond.

An Immigration officer present in court testified that they don’t have a file showing the defendant is registered in the current Amnesty Program. Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea continued the case to the following day and instructed the defendant to bring his receipts to court to confirm his story.

When the defendant’s case was called on the following day, the court instructed that the defendant’s case would be transferred to the FDA court.

Samoa News understands that the defendant is still in custody due to his illegal immigration status and the court has set his bond at $1,000.


On July 20th, 2020 about 6:25p.m, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a phone call from a man in Taputimu asking for police assistance regarding domestic violence involving the defendant, who allegedly burned his girlfriend’s clothes outside of their house.

Several police officers responded and met up with the man who contacted police for help, and the defendant’s girlfriend who both briefed officers regarding the alleged incident.

The man who called police for assistance stated to police that he was sitting inside his house when he saw black smoke coming from the defendant’s house. He walked over to check and later found out that the man was burning his wife’s (girlfriend) clothes. The man who reported the incident is believed to be the girlfriend’s father.

When asked about the incident, the defendant’s girlfriend told police that the defendant asked her for money to buy a saw, and she refused, which caused the defendant to get really upset and starting messing up their house by throwing her clothes around the house and also outside, and cracking a shower mirror — while their 9-year old daughter was present.

The woman further stated to police that the defendant approached her while holding a kitchen knife saying “watch what I’m going to do to you after I’m done”. The defendant then continued to mess up the house and to take clothes outside and burn them.

After interviewing the woman, officers went inside the house and observed the defendant sitting in the chair pretending nothing had happened. Before officers said anything, he spontaneously said that everything was okay and that the couple had settled the matter. The defendant also said the clothes he burned were old clothes and that is why he burned them.

The defendant was placed under arrest and transported to the TPS for further investigation before he was booked and later transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await the next sitting of District Court.