Man charged after threatening girlfriend and her family with machete
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who refused to leave his girlfriend’s home pursuant to a civil protection order from the Court and approached his girlfriend and her family with a machete is in custody after he was arrested last month.
Tomasi Reupena made his initial appearance in District Court last month. He is charged with disturbing the private peace (PPD) inside his home.
Due to the nature of the alleged incident and the previous encounter with the defendant and his girlfriend’s family, the court set bail at $2,000.
If he posts bond, Reupena, 46, is ordered not to set foot in his home in Kokoland but to reside elsewhere. He was also ordered not to have any contact with the victim in this matter, his girlfriend.
Around 5:20p.m on Friday, Nov. 4, 2020, a woman from Kokoland contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) alleging that her boyfriend, Tomasi Reupena, the defendant in this case, was causing a disturbance in her family by yelling profanities at her (victim) and threatening her two brothers with a machete, and also engaging him in a fist fight with one of her brothers. Furthermore, the defendant was also failing to follow the civil protection order from the Court.
Several police officers responded, and the victim first showed officers the restraining order and then pointed out Reupena, who was standing outside of the house.
Officers then proceeded to apprehend the defendant, and while they tried to place handcuffs on Reupena, he resisted arrest and scuffled with officers on the ground. They were able to apprehend the defendant and transported him to the TPS for questioning.
The victim told police during an interview that she arrived at her residence at around 5p.m thinking that her boyfriend was vacating their home after being served with the restraining order. However, when she arrived home, she saw her boyfriend standing in front of the house holding a machete saying that he wouldn’t leave the house, and then walked back inside the house.
The victim then called her two brothers who live a few blocks away from her home and informed them about her situation. A short time later, her two brothers arrived and spoke with Reupena but the victim told police that her boyfriend did not want to listen. He continued to cause trouble and at one point, he punched one of her brothers in the face.
That is when the victim called the TPS to report the matter while standing outside of the house with her brothers. Right after the victim called police, the defendant came outside the house holding a machete in his right hand and threatening her and her brothers saying that he would kill them. The victim was scared because the defendant had hit one of her brothers and recently had broken her bedroom door using a metal ladder.
The victim then fled into the house and was hiding to wait for police to assist her while her two brothers were both standing outside of the house to keep an eye on the defendant who was standing at the back of the house. The victim also told investigators that this is not the first time her boyfriend had threatened her with a machete.
After being Mirandized, the defendant said he understood his rights and agreed to make a statement.
The defendant told investigators that the reason why he did not want to leave the house was because he spent thousands and thousands of dollars to renovate the whole house and now his long-time girlfriend wanted to end their relationship for no solid reason.
He stated that his girlfriend had accused him of doing drugs, which is not true. He said he loves his girlfriend, and he wants to continue their relationship.