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Man assaulted after allegedly pulling knife out during altercation


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On February 17, 2024, at about 9:33pm, a witness contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) regarding an individual allegedly causing a disturbance in front of TMJ Store in Pavaiai.

When police officers arrived at the scene, they observed a male individual with blood covering the left side of his face, sitting on the side. A witness approached the officers and explained that the victim, who is a friend, was beaten by three unknown individuals. The victim was identified as Amona Tafa.

The victim was transported to the TPS for medical treatment and later transported to the LBJ Hospital by EMS.

The witness stated that he and his friend were drinking and got into a verbal altercation. The witness claimed to have been punched by the victim for no apparent reason. The witness further explained that as he tried to stop the victim, a male individual identified as Colin To’o jumped out of the car, along with two other individuals and hit his friend (victim) with a piece of wood.

The two individuals were later identified as Shawn Sami and his younger brother, who “jumped in to help beat up his friend (victim) by punching him several times.”

To’o and Sami were both charged with one count of 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.

An additional charge was added to To’o for 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.

An additional charge for Sami was also added — Assault in the Third Degree — a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than $1000, or both.

Bail for To’o was set at $5000, whereas bail for Sami was set at $1000.

According to the affidavit, police officers were able to review camera footage from the store and observed To’o assaulting the victim by hitting him with the a piece of lumber as Sami and his little brother punched the victim several times. It was further seen that the victim was also kicked in the face as he lay unconscious in the parking lot. Not long after, the suspects fled the scene in a black pick up truck.

The following day, the defendants arrived at the TPS with their father. They were Mirandized and provided their statement.

To’o stated that when he and his nephews arrived at the store, they observed the witness and Tafa arguing.

“Later, his nephew Shawn went down from the car to chase them away from their vehicle which led to the victim punching Sami and falling down, then Sami’s brother yelled out that Sami is hurt.”

It was then that To’o jumped out of the vehicle and “saw a knife” in Tafa’s hand that he tried to use on To’o’s nephew. To’o then yelled at Tafa who “faced him with a knife” so he “defended himself using a wooden lumber to hit Tafa and kicked him to release the knife from his hand.”

Sami provided his statement in which he explained that “when they got to the store they observed two male individuals arguing, so he went inside to do his shopping.”

Sami stated that he saw the two individuals fighting on the road and when they got close to their vehicle, he yelled out for them to move away from their vehicle when Tafa punched him in the face. It was then that he saw the knife in Tafa’s hand. Sami then stated that his uncle (To’o) “hit Tafa on the head with the wooden lumber and when he fell down, his little brother kicked the victim in his facial area.”

Sami’s little brother provided a statement in the presence of his father claiming that out of anger, “he punched and kicked the victim in the face because the victim punched his brother.”

Both To’o and Sami were transported to the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) to be confined for 48 hours.

Sami’s little brother was released to his father until further notice.

To’o was identified as a 24-year-old citizen of Samoa and Sami was identified as a 20-year-old US National.