Man hospitalized after beig stabbed by a ‘friend’
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 39-year-old man was charged last week in District Court after he allegedly stabbed another man at a friend’s house. The victim sustained wounds on his left arm and was admitted to the surgical ward because the knife blade penetrated the joint area of his arm.
During his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea, Danny Mikaele Jr entered a not guilty plea to the single charge of private peace disturbance, a class A misdemeanor.
Prosecutor Jason Mitchell, however, has informed the court that additional charges will be filed against Mikaele next week after police conclude their investigation, which includes interviews with eyewitnesses who were at the alleged crime scene when the incident occurred over the weekend.
The additional charges, according to the prosecutor, will include a felony and other misdemeanor charges related to the unlawful use of a dangerous weapon.
Judge Patea set a bond of $3,000 for Mikaele; however, if the additional charges net a felony count, the bond amount will be increased.
If the defendant is able to post bond, the courts says he subject to usual conditions, including he is not to be armed with a dangerous weapon.
According to the court affidavit, it was 5:28 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2020 when the Tafuna substation received a call from a nurse at the Emergency Room (ER) of the LBJ Hospital, reporting a man being treated and admitted after being stabbed.
When police approached the victim at the surgical ward, according to the court affidavit, at first, the victim declined to file a complaint against Mikaele, because he said this isn't the first time he has assaulted him and he fears that he will hurt him again if he files a complaint against him. The victim lives on the defendant’s land and in his house.
According to the victim, he moved to his friend’s house in Mesepa about three days prior to the incident because Mikaele came to his house drunk and instructed him to leave his house and his land. On the day of the alleged stabbing, Mikaele showed up at his friend’s house very drunk, and insisted on talking to him outside about why he had moved to his friend’s house without notifying him.
During the conversation, the defendant allegedly accused the victim of spreading rumors that he (Mikaele) is involved in selling illegal drugs at his house. This led to a verbal argument between the defendant and the victim, which led to Mikaele suddenly stabbing him. The victim told police when he realized Mikaele had stabbed him, he tried to ask him why, but Mikaele took off and left him in shock.
When questioned by police at the Tafuna Substation, Mikaele denied stabbing the victim, saying he cut himself while arguing with the victim and when the victim tried to confiscate the knife from him, he accidentally stabbed himself.
The court affidavit notes that investigators could smell a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath and his eyes were bloodshot red.
The victim is still hospitalized.
The defendant is scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday to face additional charges the government anticipates filing against him.