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Office Christmas party gets unruly and lands one man in court

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Fealofani Matuu entered a 'not guilty' plea Thursday morning when he made his initial appearance in District Court, for the charge of public peace disturbance.

He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Anna Wells while prosecuting for the government was Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell.

According to the government's case, yesterday morning at around 2 a.m., cops who were at the motor pool trying to refuel their vehicles heard yelling and profanity coming from the nearby Public Works Department compound.

When cops went to investigate, they saw a person being held by DPW workers.

Police found out that Matuu had gotten into an argument with a co-worker, which resulted in a fist fight between the two.

According to the co-worker, they were having a party at the Public Works compound when he and his supervisor got into a verbal altercation. That's when Matuu jumped in and tried to get into a fist fight with the supervisor his co-worker was arguing with.

Party goers tried to hold Matuu back but the court affidavit notes that Matuu got 'aggressive' and started yelling profanities towards his co-workers.

Additionally, he allegedly started to throw his fists towards his fellow employees. It was then that his co-workers detained him to await police assistance.

Matuu is said to have been heavily intoxicated during the incident. His speech was slurred and the questioning officer could detect a strong odor of alcohol emitting from his breath.

Matuu was transported to the TCF where he was booked and confined.

He was released on his own recognizance by District Court Judge Fiti Sunia yesterday, under the condition that he remain law abiding, make all his court appearances, keep in contact with his attorney, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, maintain the peace at his workplace, and remain alcohol and drug free.

His pretrial conference is scheduled for January 25, 2019.