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Scuffle in restaurant parking sparked by — you guessed it, alcohol

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 29-year-old male accused of disturbing the peace in a restaurant parking lot last week Saturday made his initial appearance in District Court last week, where he entered a not guilty plea to the single charge of public peace disturbance.

Wilson Mareko is being represented by Assistant Public Defender Bob Stuart while Assistant Attorney General Hanna Kim is prosecuting the case.

Stuart asked the court to release his client on his own recognizance, saying this is his first offense and the allegation against him is not serious. The prosecutor did not oppose the defense’s motion.

Judge Elvis P. Patea granted the defense’s motion and released the defendant under usual conditions that include being alcohol and drug free.

“You are not allowed to go back to the restaurant compound at anytime,” the court told the defendant on penalty of being jailed until his case is heard.

The government claims that on May 31 around 8:40 p.m, police officers apprehended an unknown individual later identified as the defendant, for disturbing the peace in a restaurant parking lot in the Tafuna area.

Police officers working on the west side said they were at the other side of the restaurant’s parking lot area when they heard someone shouting profane words, both in Samoan and English.

Officers approached the crowd and observed the defendant yelling profanities and challenging people in the parking lot to a fistfight.

Police officers intervened and apprehended the defendant, who was then transported to the Tafuna Police Substation where he was booked and taken to the TCF to await his first appearance in District Court.

The court affidavit said Mareko was heavily intoxicated.

An eyewitness told police that the defendant approached another male individual, who was standing behind a blue pick up before he (defendant) allegedly punched the male individual in the eye. The victim then jumped inside the pick up and left the area immediately.