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Man who allegedly burst into his neighbor's home, charged with assault

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 40-year-old man who is on 12 months probation was arrested two weeks ago on the allegation that he assaulted his neighbor while he was intoxicated.

Ioane Matalani made his initial appearance two weeks ago. He is charged with 3rd degree assault, trespass, resisting arrest, and public peace disturbance — all misdemeanors.

During his initial appearance, the court established Matalani’s bond at $1,000. If he posts bond, the court has ordered the usual restrictions, including not setting foot at or near the victim and his family’s house.

Matalani is accused of unlawfully walking onto a neighbor’s land and allegedly assaulting his neighbor by punching him in the face multiple times while he (Matalani) was intoxicated. The victim’s niece told police that this is not the first time Matalani has done this to her uncle.

According to the niece, Matalani became upset when her uncle did not do what the defendant wanted him to do. The victim and his family are living on land belonging to Matalani’s uncle and his family.

Matalani prohibited the victim and his family from cultivating one area of the land; however, Matalani’s uncle who left the island while Matalan’i was in prison around January of this year instructed the victim’s family to use the land for their plantation and to make sure to build a 6-foot rock wall on the boundaries to prevent their plantation from being dug up by pigs.

Last month while Matalani was drinking beer behind his house, he allegedly saw the victim and his wife working on the land. He then waited until the victim went to his house before he walked over, forcibly entered the home, and allegedly assaulted the victim.

In May of last year, Matalani was convicted of 3rd degree assault and endangering the welfare of a clild, both class A misdemeanors. He was placed on probation for 12 months subject to conditions that he not consume any alcohol or possess any illegal drugs, and he is to attend and complete an alcohol counseling program.

He was also ordered to be law abiding and to keep the peace with his neighbor.

Matalani is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 12th for his pretrial conference.