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Police arrest man who allegedly got into a fight with Bowling Alley security

American Samoa District Court building
He then allegedly threatened and assaulted police

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man charged with public peace disturbance and resisting arrest following an incident that occurred this past Saturday, Mar. 9, at the Bowling Alley in Tafuna has been ordered to remain sober and stay away from the Bowling Alley.

Tigilau Apisai made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning, where Judge Elvis P. Patea released him on his own recognizance.

Tigilau's next court date is April 23

According to the government's case, police were contacted by security personnel at the Bowling Alley regarding an intoxicated male who was starting trouble at the compound.

When police were pulling in, they could hear a male arguing with security, and yelling out loud (fa'aumu). Investigators arrived at the parking lot where a number of employees were pointing to "a large male" (later identified as Tigilau) who appeared to be having trouble standing up. Another male was standing with him, trying to calm him down.

Cops say they observed "a number of injuries" on Tigilau's face: a small laceration under his left eye, swelling on his left cheek, small abrasions on the right side of his face, a bloody nose, and what appeared to be swollen lips (both upper and lower).

When a cop approached Tigilau to inquire about what happened, Tigilau said he got into a fight with the security.

The male who was standing with Tigilau identified himself as his "brother" and told police that Tigilau was fine, and he was going home. When a police officer stopped the two men from leaving the scene, "brother" appeared "to be attempting to interfere with the arrest by placing himself between Tigilau" and the officers who were present, according to the court affidavit.

The ”brother" was ordered to step aside and he complied. When the officer approached Tigilau again to assess his injuries, the defendant became "combative" by "forcefully jerking" away from the cop who was reaching for his arm.

When police tried to calm him down, Tigilau allegedly started yelling, saying he knows his rights, it wasn't him, and let him go.

When cops tried to put him in restraints, Tigilau "actively resisted" causing the cops to take him to the ground to carry out the arrest.

When cops attempted to place him in the police unit for transport to the Tafuna Substation, Tigilau "refused to enter the vehicle and started to push back against" one of the cops. At that point, another cop "grabbed Tigilau's legs and carried him into the unit."

Tigilau allegedly began to kick at the rear passenger side window.

One of the cops entered the back seat of the unit in an attempt to stop Tigilau from hurting himself and the officers, and causing damage to the unit. But Tigilau continued to be aggressive. En route to the Tafuna Substation, the cop who was driving looked back and observed that Tigilau had "stood up in the back, and was both head butting and attempting to smother" one of the officers with his shoulder and chest.

The driver stopped the vehicle and struck Tigilau on the right shoulder with a fist, while the cop who was sitting in the back seat "pushed" Tigilau, causing him to hit the passenger side window.

At this point, Tigilau allegedly started making threats to the cops, saying, "I'm gonna kill you both."

When the unit arrived at the Tafuna Substation, the cops exited the vehicle and approached Tigilau's door. According to the criminal complaint, Tigilau "had laid down in the back seat with his feet pointed at the door the officers were about to open."

One cop opened the door while the other attempted to remove Tigilau from the unit.

This was when it is alleged that Tigilau kicked one of the officers in the chest, forcing the cop backwards. Tigilau refused to leave the unit, despite being told several times to "cease his actions."

Tigilau refused and continued to kick at the cops.

This was when a police officer deployed his baton and struck Tigilau "on the meaty part of his left thigh." When Tigilau refused to stop kicking and exit the vehicle, the cop struck him again, in the same area of his thigh.

After the third strike, according to court documents, Tigilau finally stopped and a police officer was able to remove him from the vehicle.

Cops requested medical assistance for Tigilau but he refused to be taken to the hospital.

Judge Patea has ordered Tigilau to abide by all standard conditions of release: be law abiding at all times, make his court appearances, not leave or attempt to leave the territory without prior permission from the court, and keep in close contact with the Public Defender's Office. He is also to stay away from the Bowling Alley and remain sober at all times.

Tigilau is represented by Public Defender Michael White while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell.