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Melee in Ottoville lands two repeat offenders in jail

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Police took into custody last Wednesday night two men following a fight in Ottoville, according to court information. The accused, Dick Asomau and Jason Faimata, made their initial appearances Thursday in District Court.

Asomau is charged with two counts of third degree assault and one count each of public peace disturbance, and underage drinking, all misdemeanors. Faimata is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony, and one misdemeanor count of third degree assault.

According to court information, the fight began when Asomau allegedly threw a beer bottle towards a Tafuna resident. Asomau then walked to the victim and punched him. Other youngsters, including Faimata, joined in the fight, which took place in front of an Ottoville store.

One person was reportedly injured but the extent of his injuries is unknown. There was no indication during court proceedings on what the young men from Tafuna were doing in front of the Ottoville store that night. There was also no information on what prompted Asomau to start the fight.

Court information states that the charges against Faimata stem from him punching another man, as well as the driver of a truck who came to pick up the young man from Tafuna. Two witnesses told police that as the driver exited his vehicle and tried to assist the injured youth, Faimata walked over and punched him from behind, before kicking his back.

The driver was able to jump in his vehicle and immediately drove off to avoid any further encounters with the two defendants and other youth from Ottoville.

Several cops responded to the incident and apprehended Asomau and Faimata at the scene. Before the two men were placed in the police unit, a body search was carried out. Police found a glass pipe containing meth in Faimata’s pant pocket.

Faimata told police after the fight he saw a glass pipe on the ground in front of the store and he picked it up and put it in his pocket. The white crystalline substance in the pipe tested positive for meth.

It was revealed during the hearing that Asomau and Faimata both have previous records including fines, which neither have paid. Faimata was convicted and sentenced in 2015 for public peace disturbance, with a fine of $70, not yet paid; while Asomau, whose criminal record dates back to his early teen years, is on probation for previous run-ins with the law.

No specific details were mentioned in court on Asomau’s crimes, which allegedly were committed while he was a teen. He is now 20 years old.

Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson argued for Asomau to be released on his own recognizance, and Faimata to be released on a $2,000 surety bond. The government opposed and asked that both men be released on bail. The government asked for a $1,000 bond for Asomau and $5,000 for Faimata.

District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea agreed. If they are able to post bond, both men are ordered to be law abiding and not make any direct or indirect contact with any of the people who were assaulted.

Pretrial conference for Asomau is Oct. 29th while Faimata will appear in court this Thursday for a preliminary hearing.