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Man with a knife charged with PPD and endangering welfare of a child

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who allegedly told his niece to shut up before he cuts her with a knife has been told by District Court to keep the peace within his family and refrain from making threats towards his niece or any other family member.

Talosaga Filo is charged with public peace disturbance and endangering the welfare of a child. He made his initial appearance in court last week where he entered a 'not guilty' plea to the charges against him.

The defense attorney asked the court to release his client on his own recognizance, saying he’s a first time offender; he isn't a flight risk; and he is not a danger to society.

Anderson pointed out that the alleged incident occurred in Tafuna, although Filo resides in Malaeimi with his family.

The prosecutor echoed the defense’s verbal motion to release Filo on his own recognizance, but under the condition that he stay away from the victim and her family.

The court released Filo on his own recognizance, subject to the conditions that he not have any direct or indirect contact with the victim, who is his niece, and he is to remain alcohol and drug free. He also is not to be in possession of any weapons including knives and guns, or any other form of deadly weapon that can cause harm to others.

According to the government’s case, the victim contacted police for assistance after the defendant, allegedly came over to her house and started yelling profanities at her and her little sister, even threatening to cut them with a kitchen knife.

Upon arrival at the scene, responding officers noticed that there was no commotion, everything was calm. They were able to speak to the victim who told them that she was cutting up chicken with her sister when their uncle walked into their home and asked what they did to him.

The victim said she told Filo that she didn't know what he was talking about.

According to the government, it was at that time that Filo allegedly told his niece to shut up before he cuts her with a knife.

The victim’s sister told Filo to leave the premises and if he didn't, they were going to call the police. Filo allegedly responded that he doesn't care about the police, and left.

The victim told police this was not the first time the defendant has done this. According to her, the first alleged incident was a threat made over the phone, when Filo called her and told her that there were two options: he was going to beat up her dad, or he was going to kill everyone who lives in their house.

When police asked the victim where they could find the defendant, the victim said Filo and his wife rent in Malaeimi. She also described for police the kind of vehicle he drives.

Police were able to apprehend the defendant based on the description of the vehicle given by the victim; when cops approached the male driver, he identified himself as Talosaga Filo.

When questioned by police, investigators say they could smell a strong odor of alcohol on Filo’s breath.