Man finds out there are some days you just shouldn’t get out of bed
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 38-year-old man was arrested last month on the allegation that he stabbed a man with a kitchen knife after he punched him in the face. Then when he was being taken into custody, illegal drugs were found in his possession. And to top off his day, while he was being interviewed for the assault, an arrest warrant came to light in another matter — allegedly for stealing.
According to the government’s case, it was around 6:37 p.m on Aug. 19th, 2021 when police at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a 25-year-old female, saying that her uncle had been assaulted and was being taken to the LBJ Hospital by ambulance for treatment.
The caller further told police that her uncle sustained a big laceration on his back and shoulder, and he needed immediate medical attention.
Several police officers responded to the call and investigators interviewed the victim’s niece, who informed them that her uncle (victim) was allegedly assaulted by a man, who is residing at their neighbor’s house. The niece said that her uncle was assaulted by the suspect outside of the suspect’s house.
Investigators learned that the victim’s ex-wife is the sister of the suspect in this matter, and the victim was allegedly assaulted while he was speaking to his ex-wife outside the parking lot of the suspect’s house. The victim’s ex-wife was at her brother’s (suspect) house when she contacted her ex-husband to come over to discuss issues regarding their young children.
Investigators were unable to locate the suspect and a request was made to his family to bring him to the TPS for an interview regarding the alleged incident.
As investigators were looking for an eyewitness, the victim’s niece told investigators that according to her uncle (victim) he was outside of the house with his ex-wife discussing issues regarding their three young children when the alleged assault took place.
Investigators also brought the ex-wife in for an interview.
The ex-wife told investigators that she was not present when her brother (suspect) allegedly stabbed the victim. All she knew was that she and her ex-husband (victim), who is the father of her five young children, were shocked when her brother (suspect) approached them while standing outside of the parking lot and immediately got into a fight with her ex-husband.
According to the witness, she tried hard to stop the fight but it was getting out of hand and that’s when she ran inside the house calling for help and a few moments later, she noticed her ex-husband running to the other side of the parking with blood covering his facial area.
The victim called out to his ex-wife to call police for help because he was hurt and in pain. The ex-wife immediately called 911 for assistance.
The ex-wife stated to police that she did not see her brother stab the victim as she was inside the house at the time, calling out for help to stop the fight.
The following day after the alleged incident when the victim was discharged from the LBJ Hospital, investigators spoke to him about the incident. According to the victim’s statement, his ex-wife called him to come over to her brother’s house (suspect house) to discuss something regarding their children when the suspect walked over to them and grabbed his neck and asked him why he came to his house.
He tried to push the suspect away so that he could get away from him but he was shocked when the suspect pulled out a knife from his pocket and allegedly stabbed him. He turned his body to the side and the knife hit his shoulder. He tried to run away but the suspect allegedly stabbed him again in the back. The suspect then grabbed his shirt and punched him in the face.
According to the victim, after the second stab, he was able to get himself away from the suspect and ran to the front of the house. His ex-wife followed him and told him to come inside, but he asked her to call 911 for help because he was injured and he needed medical attention right away.
The victim, contradicted his ex-wife’s statement, saying that his ex-wife was present when the suspect attacked him outside in the parking lot.
Investigators arrested the suspect at his home three days after the alleged incident, pursuant to an arrest warrant and transported him to the TPS for questioning. The suspect was searched, as per norm, prior to being transported, and during the body search, investigators found a medium sized baggie in his left pocket containing methamphetamine (meth). Also found inside his left pocket was a hand rolled marijuana joint.
The suspect told investigators that he had just arrived home when he learned from his son that the victim was talking to his sister outside the house in the parking lot. He felt anger inside his heart because the victim left his sister and her children for another woman. He walked to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and put it inside his pocket. His only plan was to hurt his sister’s ex-husband for what he has done to his sister and her young children.
He then walked outside and approached the victim and punched him in the face. The victim punched him back, so he pulled out the knife from his pocket and stabbed him in the shoulder and the back.
When asked about the illegal drugs found in his possession, the suspect stated that the stuff belonged to him. He refused to reveal more information regarding the illegal drugs to investigators.
During the interview, investigators discovered that the suspect has an active arrest warrant from two years ago for stealing a cellphone from a vehicle that was parked in front of a store in the Tafuna area.
THE STEALING CASE
The government alleges that on Oct. 28th, 2019, a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) asking for police assistance after she discovered that someone took her cellphone and her purse from her vehicle while she was inside the store.
The woman further told police that there were three eyewitnesses who saw Tolai Sio allegedly open her vehicle’s door, grab her purse and cellphone and run away.
Several police officers arrived at the scene and were able to interview the woman who called for police assistance. The woman who called was later identified as the victim in this case.
The victim stated to police that she went inside the store for shopping while her 9-year-old son was in the vehicle. While she was doing her shopping she was shocked to see her son running towards her. Her son later told her that he already locked the vehicle.
After twenty minutes, she returned to her vehicle and saw that someone had taken her purse and her cellphone. She tried to call her cellphone using her other phone but it was turned off.
Police questioned three male individuals who were sitting across the road from the store and they confirmed that it was Sio who opened the vehicle’s front door and took the purse and the cell phone.
Sio made his initial appearance in court last month where his bail was set at $10,000. Sio’s preliminary examination is now set for next week.
The government filed two separate cases agains Sio.
In the first case he was charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of meth, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment between 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both, along with one count of second-degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both, and 3rd degree property damage, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
In the second case, he was charged with stealing, a class C felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 fine or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.