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Overstayer who assaulted his wife is released to Immigration

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man whose Immigration ID expired Jan. 21, 2019 has been released to the custody of Immigration. The man appeared in District Court Monday on charges of private peace disturbance and third degree assault following an alleged physical altercation with his wife.

(To protect the identity of the victim, Samoa News is withholding the defendant’s name).

District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea released the man on his own recognizance, and he is ordered to find someplace else to live while his case is pending. He is also not to make any direct or indirect contact with his wife.

Pretrial conference is Feb. 13th and the case has been transferred to the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court.

According to the government, police were notified last Friday by a woman claiming that her friend was being assaulted by the defendant. Police arrived and found the defendant sitting next to his wife on the bed. Officers observed bruises on the woman's face. She was later treated by paramedics.

At the Tafuna Substation, the defendant told police it was a "misunderstanding" between him and his wife "which escalated to a fight." He allegedly told police that he slapped his wife once, causing her to fall to the ground, and “this always happens between them" and "they always work things out," according to court documents.

The man sustained injuries on his arms and abdominal area. When questioned by police, the woman said she and her husband started arguing after he picked her up from work. She said her husband kept driving recklessly and she continuously told him to slow down but he refused. She said when they got home, the argument escalated to a fight and she scratched her husband and punched him several times before he punched her twice.

The woman told police this isn't the first time this has happened, but "this is the first time she has called for help."