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Peace and goodwill in short supply this holiday season

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Local law enforcement has been busy this holiday season with traffic enforcement and refereeing disputes in villages across the island.  Here are some of the latest


An alleged assault in the far west village of Nua & Seetaga resulted in Lino Tufele being arrested and charged with private peace disturbance and third degree assault.

The alleged incident occurred Christmas Eve.

According to the criminal complaint, Tufele is alleged to have swung a stick at a man who was on his way to feed his pigs.

The victim said that while he was heading to the pigpen, Tufele called out to him before he walked over and swung a stick at him.

Tufele appeared in District Court last week where he entered a 'not guilty' plea to the charges against him. Judge Fiti Sunia ordered Tufele to be released on his own recognizance, subject to standard conditions of release. He was also ordered not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim.

His pretrial conference is set for Jan. 30, 2019.


A man alleged to have assaulted another man "for no reason" on Christmas Eve appeared in District Court this past Wednesday, where he pled 'not guilty' to public peace disturbance and third degree assault.

Mikaele Siaosi is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Jan. 30, 2019.

After learning that the incident did not involve any alcohol, Judge Fiti Sunia released Siaosi on his own recognizance, subject to the standard conditions of release.

According to the criminal complaint, it was the victim's wife who contacted police, requesting assistance. The victim is said to have been assaulted by Siaosi on the public highway, in front of their Nua & Seetaga residence. The victim told his wife that Siaosi punched him twice in the facial area, causing him to bleed from the mouth.

The court affidavit notes that some bystanders stepped in and stopped the fight, grabbed the victim, and took him home. Both men were transported to the Tafuna Substation for questioning.

The victim was treated by EMS personnel and released that same day.

Both men were taken to custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).

Samoa News should point out that the victim in this case is facing criminal charges for assaulting a man the same day he was allegedly assaulted by Siaosi.


A man who was "harassing" customers at a store in Pava'ia'i on Christmas Eve has pled 'not guilty' to public peace disturbance.

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia has ordered a pretrial conference for January 30, 2019.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the store after a female employee reported that Benjamin Raimo was causing problems at the store.

Cops arrived to find the defendant and another person consuming alcohol in front of the establishment.

According to the caller, the intoxicated defendant was "bothering" customers who were shopping.

She told police that Raimo walked into the store, demanding that the owner give him his change. But the female employee claimed that Raimo was already given his change, but he was probably too drunk to remember.

She said Raimo was chased out of the store numerous times but he continued to make his way back in. At one point, she said, he shouted at the owner, calling him names.

Raimo is also alleged to have followed a customer around, resulting in that customer leaving the store. Cops said a strong odor of alcohol was emitting from Raimo when he was being transported to the TCF.

Judge Sunia released Raimo on his own recognizance, and ordered him to stay away from the government's witness, stay away from the store, remain law abiding, and remember that he is subject to random testing; therefore, he must remain sober.