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Man with street name “BLOOD” faces multiple charges

American Samoa District Court building


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The government has charged a 30-year-old man with unlawful possession of illegal drugs and for trying to break into a store in Tafuna in December of last year. Faalagi Gasetoto, a.k.a “BLOOD” made his initial appearance in District Court last month.

Gasetoto, who has a long criminal history, is charged with unlawful possession of the controlled substance, marijuana, resisting arrest and attempted burglary in the second degree - all class D felonies, along with disturbing the public peace (PPD), a class B misdemeanor.

The court established Gasetoto’s bond at $5,000.

If he posts bond, the court has ordered the usual restrictions, including he not set foot in the store he allegedly tried to break into and enter, and to not make any contact with the government's witnesses.

According to the government’s case, a woman informed police about a young man who tried to break into a store in Fagaima by throwing rocks at the back door on the night of Dec. 28th, 2020.

Police responded to the call but were unable to locate the suspect. They searched around the area for the defendant but he was nowhere to be found.

Last month, police were responding to a public disturbance incident in Malaeimi where four men were involved. One of them was Faalagi Gasetoto, the defendant in this matter.

When police arrived at the location, they witnessed a crowd of people in front of a residence trying to hold down a man while another male individual was seen sitting on the ground with blood covering his facial area.

A woman stepped forward and immediately introduced herself to police officers saying that she was the one who called for police assistance. According to the reporter’s statement to police, the male individual sitting on the ground is her nephew who was allegedly assaulted by a man who was being held down by two men on the other side of the house. The man was later identified as Gasetoto, the defendant in this matter.

The other two men involved in the alleged beating of the victim had disappeared.

After speaking with the reporter, police were able to secure the scene. EMS personnel were also contacted for assistance and the victim was immediately transported to the LBJ Medical Hospital for treatment Gasetoto was placed inside a police unit for his safety. 

Police interviewed several witnesses including the woman who reported the matter.

According to the report, in December of last year, she contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for assistance after Gasetoto attempted to break into a store by throwing a rock to the back door of the building. Gasetoto disappeared before police arrived. The reporter further stated to police that she knew Gasetoto because he used to stay with their neighbors.

However, on the day of the incident, the reporter stated that she was inside the house when her daughter came and informed her that Gasetoto (defendant) and three other young men had assaulted her nephew by striking his head with a rock.

The reporter stepped outside of her house and saw a crowd of people standing while her nephew was sitting on the ground with his facial area covered with blood. She immediately contacted the TPS for assistance while a group of men from the area were holding Gasetoto down to await police arrival.

Police interviewed several witnesses and they echoed the reporter’s statement about what allegedly happened.

Prior to transportation, a body search was carried out during which police discovered three rolled cigarettes wrapped together inside a small white envelope, along with 2 small stamp-sized baggies containing white crystalline substance inside his right pocket.

When questioned by police about the illegal drugs, Gasetoto said he got the drugs from a friend, who is selling them on the road in the Vaitogi area. He did not reveal to police his friend's name.

When asked about the incident where he allegedly assaulted another man by striking his head with a rock, Gasetoto stated that he was mad when the victim called out his name while he was standing in front of a store and told him that police are looking for him (Gasetoto) for stealing items from a store last year.

Out of anger, he walked over to where the victim was standing and there was a verbal argument between them before he picked up a rock and struck the victim’s head causing the victim to fall on the ground.

When asked about the alleged incident where he attempted to break into a store in the village in July of this year, Gasetoto said he doesn’t know anything about that case.

He further stated to police that all of last year — up until the time he was arrested, he’s worked as a security guard, from 9p.m until 6a.m., and he doesn’t have time to break into stores or houses at night.