Two spousal assaults reported — allegedly fueled by alcohol
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —Two men were arrested by police over the weekend after allegations that they assaulted their wives while they were both under the influence of alcohol. Both men appeared in District Court on Monday for their initial appearances where they denied the charges against them.
One man was arrested from Iliili while the other was arrested from Malaeimi. Both are facing 3rd degree assault and private peace disturbance charges, both class A misdemeanors, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year, and a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Both men were released on their own recognizance after their initial appearances subject to conditions that they not consume alcohol and keep the peace at all times.
Judge Fiti Sunia also ordered both defendants to have no direct or indirect contact with their wives and children, which means they have to find another place to stay while their cases are pending in court. If they encounter them in public, it’s their duty to walk away from them peacefully.
It was around 11:10p.m on Sunday night, July 22, 2018 when an off-duty police officer contacted the Tafuna Police Substation and reported that she was notified by another individual about a female who was allegedly assaulted by her husband from which she sustained bruises on the right side of her face and was also bleeding from her right ear.
Several police officers responded to the call, and met up with a female who was later identified as the victim in this case. Police officers observed the right side of the victim’s face swollen and she also had bruises on her back.
The defendant was apprehended immediately and brought to the police station for further investigation into the reported matter. The victim also accompanied police officers to the police station.
While interviewing the victim regarding the alleged assault, she refused to cooperate with police, saying she does not want to lock up her husband because he is the only one working and supporting their family.
The victim was being very uncooperative and told police officers that what happened between her and her husband occurred on July 21, 2018 and that everything was already settled between her and her husband. The victim further told police officers that her husband had promised her that nothing would happen again.
The off-duty police officer who reported the matter told police that according to the individual who notified her (off-duty police officer) regarding this incident, this is not the first time this has happened to the victim, and that the person that reported it to the off-duty police officer was concerned that something worse might happen to the victim in the future.
The government also claimed that on the night of the alleged incident, both the victim and the defendant had consumed alcohol.
It was around 10:45p.m on Friday night, July 20, 2018 when a father called the Tafuna Police Substation requesting immediate assistance at his house in Iliili, regarding his son who was intoxicated and had allegedly assaulted his wife inside the house.
Several police officers responded to the call and were able to meet up with the father. After speaking with him, police officers then spoke with the victim.
The victim told police that she and her husband were just talking while her husband was consuming his beer during their conversation. Something was said in the middle of the conversation that made the husband angry, and that’s when he started throwing punches at his wife.
The victim described to police that she was punched on her sides — ribs like a ‘punching bag’ while their kids were present. Her father-in-law heard her cries and came to her aid. Her husband then got into his vehicle, revved the engine, spun the vehicle tires on the grass and drove off towards KS Mart.
Police officers observed the vehicle speeding towards KS Mart, then it pulled over and drove back to the scene. The defendant was apprehended; and officers smelled alcohol on the defendant’s breath and person before placing him in handcuffs and into the police unit.
The father told police that he was in a different room when he heard yelling and he ran to see what was happening. As he approached his son and wife’s room, he heard his grandchildren screaming and crying. His daughter-in-law was also crying and fighting her husband trying to keep him from punching her, and that’s why he immediately called police for assistance.
While being transported to the Tafuna Police Substation, the defendant mumbled that he did not like his wife’s behavior since the passing of his mother and his wife was not present during her funeral.
Reportedly they are in the middle of a divorce.